Tiger hits a lovely shot from the bunker to give himself about six feet for par. JT is not happy with his chip but he only has maybe 8-10 feet to convert for his par. 178 left for Rory and he’s safely on the green pin high but not super close. Before him Tiger hit low shot from the left rough that ended up in the front right greenside bunker.
A near miss for Rory’s birdie and Tiger follows suit coming up just short. JT also comes up short from the fringe and taps in for par. So ho-hum on No. 3 for our trio. No. 3 is playing 153 yards today. TW hits a safe shot to about pin high 20 feet from the cup. JT takes a more aggressive line and ends up just off the green on the fringe. And Rory hits a safe shot like Tiger also 20-25 feet from the hole.
That’s now back-to-back birdies for Rose who gets to five under for the week and is five back. Rahm also made birdie to get to four under. Spieth made par on the 2nd. Whoa! Ted Potter Jr just holed out for eagle on 14 to get to five under. He’s one under for the tournament.
Going to be at least one dropped shot for Justin Rose on 15 after a poor chip. Jordan Spieth’s birdie attempt comes up about a foot short and he is visibly frustrated. Rahm drains his par save. Rose converts for bogey so he drops to -3 — four back of Kisner’s lead.
Some guys are really making moves today. Kisner at the top at nine under still Woodland at eight under and Stone and Koepka at six. Rose has a tester left for par on 18 while Rahm and Spieth have looks for birdie.
Andrew Landry is going low early too. He’s six under through 11 and three under for the tournament. Currently T17. Lots of guys at six under right now. Stone Scott Schwartzel ZJ. And lots more guys to tee off in the next two hours. Could be a handful of 64s today.
Tiger tossed in a great approach into the 2nd green and cashed the 14-foot birdie putt. 1 under for the week. This is Ben Kern. Need him on the weekend. Also Tony Finau promptly triple bogeyed the 6th hole.
Rahm makes par! That was gutty stuff to stay at five under. Pumps his fist as it dropped. Top of the leaderboard taking shape. Koepka in the house at eight under. DJ one back at seven under. Saturday gonna be fun.
It will favor bombers and there a lot of those. Take your pick. Rahm. DJ. Justin Thomas. Rory. Within that subset take the guy with the hottest putter which is far more variable and harder to predict. I like Tony Finau because…what’s not to like?
Brooks Koepka is on fire. Makes the turn in three under on the day and then birdies three straight to begin his second nine (the front) and is now seven under and in solo second. Woodland and Kisner both still tied at nine under through 11 holes.
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!
“Distance is not so important here as you might think” Gary Player said after winning the 1965 U.S. Open at a 7200-yard Bellerive (the longest-ever U.S. Open at the time). Will that hold true this week?