He hits a rising bullet that escape the trees…only to hook hard and re-enter the trouble farther down the fairway. Thomas and McIlroy find the green inside 20 feet for birdies. And now another Tiger escape shot coming.
On the 241-yard par-3 16th McIlroy and Thomas find the green but not close to the hole. Woods overcooks and iron long and left and it settles next to the grandstand. Thomas kicks in his third birdie of the opening nine and he’s tied for the lead and looking totally in control. McIlroy pars to stay -1.
Frayed nerve endings? The guy is still a specimen so I don’t think it’s that he’s physically tired. I think the reality is that he’s the 50th-ranked player in the world for a reason.
Pete Bevacqua helped make the PGA of America far more modern in its approach to marketing planning and taking inventory in the broadest sense. He helped oversee a process by which the players could control the playing of the Ryder Cup and trained professionals could handle the business aspects.
All things considered Rory hits a very well-executed flop to set up a 18-20 footer for par. So Rory is actually WAY over the green into the gallery. He’s taking a free drop now. Will be a tough shot to a short-sided pin.
On the par-4 15th Rory swinging driver finds the right side of the fairway. That one was smoked. …and he come up short as well. He taps for par. Looks like pars all around here. Rory’s putt trundles down the slope but comes up about 5 feet short. JT leaves his birdie 3 feet short..and now Tiger…
Woods has a gap in the trees and he’s going to try a tough escape shot that reaches the green. Buckle up. Thomas rips one up the chute and Woods also with driver hits it into he trees left of the fairway. That one looks like punch-out but we’ll see how it’s lying.
Bubba Watson. It’s been an incredible year for Bubba and it continues this week when he picks apart Bellerive with that pink driver. Sleeper: Hossler has been there all year. He’s shown the ability to play his way into contention at normal Tour stops. I think he avoids the weekend blow-up that has normally followed and bags himself his first top 10 in a major.
He helped elevate the status of the women’s PGA Championship. He opened up the prospect that Olympic Club in San Francisco — a spectacular course and place — could be a PGA of America venue for many years to come.
Justin Thomas. He is the game’s most complete player and comes in with a ton of momentum. And a softish parkland course like Bellerive is right in his wheelhouse. Sleeper: I took Schauffele at Carnoustie and I’m afraid his profile is too high now to qualify as a dark horse so I’m going with Luke List. He has one of the best long-games in golf and early word is that Bellerive is a bomber’s paradise.
I’ve only played Scottish links so that’s my answer. Then again even if I’ve played in Ireland my last two rounds were at Royal Aberdeen and St. Andrews’ Old Course. I’m flying high on the Scotland variety right now.
Sleeper: Pat Perez is still riding a career rebirth and he got a taste of the fire at Carnoustie. I can see him playing his way back into the thick of it and hanging there even longer than he did at the Open.