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.
I don’t know Bellerive from Bel Air. (In fact I’m not sure how to pronounce it.) But I’m told the fairways are wider than traditional bomb-and-gouge tracks like Firestone. That means well-placed shorter drives should be rewarded with better lines to attack the greens. Don’t count the Zachs out just yet!
Add Brooks Koepka to the list of players making a statement this morning. He’s three under through his first eight holes four shots back of the lead. Ah finally a birdie for Jordan! Brings him to -1 for the tournament. Pars for Rose and Rahm.
Brutal three-putt from Spieth at the opener. Tiger had an early double too of course but that’s a rough start. Greens aren’t getting any smoother. Cool bit from Rickie on wearing yellow in honor of the late Jarrod Lyle. The outpouring of support has been great to watch.
Woods pures his birdie putt into the center of the cup. Now two under for the championship. On the par-3 132-yard 3rd hole Tiger tosses in a dart to five feet. Will have that for two straight birds. Meanwhile not much else happening with the leaderboard. Fowler remains at five under just as he started.