Best quote from Tiger’s post-round presser? “I just sweat a lot.” He changed shirts after just the second hole. To be fair we’re in Missouri in August. Everyone’s sweating a lot. But I haven’t seen many others employing the two-shirt method. More on that here!
Spieth sticks his approach into the 9th green well inside of his playing partners. He’ll have a good look at another birdie from about 10 feet. It seems like the afternoon wave is starting to kick it into gear after a rough start. Birdies are dropping.
Although guys aren’t exactly testing the major championship scoring record out here it’s an incredibly bunched leaderboard. Only two players of the 100-plus on course are worse than six over — in the current conditions Bellerive doesn’t have any crazy teeth. Hard to make birdies? Maybe. But no problem sticking around par for most of the field.
Gary Woodland just made a rare eagle on No. 17 to get to two under par on the day and eight under par for the tournament. He’s a co-leader now with Kisner who just made another birdie to get to five under on the day.
So far only two players in the afternoon wave are taking advantage of the good conditions: Jason Dufner and Y.E. Yang. Both are -2 through 3. Both are former PGA Champions.
Rory and JT go with irons off the tee with JT’s skirting past TW’s ball by about 20 yards. Tiger seems to be getting into a nice groove. Finds his third fairway in a row with the 3-wood off the tee on No. 2.
Tiger’s next and seems to like it but doesn’t get the kick he wanted — looks like that one found the bunker greenside. Rory finds the left greenside bunker pin-high. The lie will dictate this next shot.
Brooks Koepka AND Francesco Molinari just dunked their tee shots at the par-3 6th. Not good. Tommy Fleetwood can’t convert a mid-range birdie at 6. He’s at +1 so far. John Rahm a popular pick to win this week is -1 after going birdie-par-par to open his round.
Kevin Kisner making a run at a Ryder Cup spot. He could auto qualify with a good week at the PGA or put himself in the hunt for a captain’s pick. After a six-under opening nine he birdies 7 and is 10 under and the solo leader.
Tiger drains his par save and Rory taps in for par as well. On to No. 5 a par 4 playing 475 today. JT misses his par putt to drop his first shot of the day. He falls to -2 one shot back of the lead.
Well in the end these three all ended up about where they started. Thomas will feel disappointed after a closing bogey left him at one-under 69. McIlroy never quite got it going in an even-par 70. And a finishing two-putt par leaves Woods at 70 as well. He should be pleased given that start. It’ll be interesting to hear his post-game remarks; he really salvaged this round.
Jon Rahm stepped on his ball (in the rough) on the par-5 8th. That’s a penalty folks! He wasn’t thrilled that it wasn’t marked by a course marshal. It was just a bit off the fairway.