Thanks to some very benign conditions, Thursday was a bit of a birdie-fest at the U.S. Open. With very little wind, soft greens and the absence of the sun to dry the course out, many of the players were able to bring Pebble Beach to its knees. There were five rounds of 66 or better, and a total of 39 players posted rounds under par.
Among those players was Tiger Woods, who had one of the all-time grind-it-out one-under 70s to keep himself in striking distance. The 15-time major champion scrambled around Pebble as only he can, hitting just nine greens and 10 fairways, and making three birdies, a double bogey at the par-3 fifth and 14 pars. His iron game was not good, but his short game saved him. He’ll tee off in his second round on No. 10 at 11:24 a.m. ET, and he’ll play alongside Justin Rose, who tied Woods’that featured just 22 putts.
(U.S. Open 2019: Scroll down for the latest updates)
Just one back of Rose are the likes of Rickie Fowler (4:47 p.m ET off No. 10), Xander Schauffele (5:09 p.m. ET off No. 10) and Louis Oosthuizen, who is off in the third-to-last group on the first tee at 5:20 p.m. ET. Notables to watch in the morning wave include Francesco Molinari and Henrik Stenson, each at three under, and Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka and amateur Viktor Hovland, who all tee off at 11:02 a.m. ET, Kuchar on No. 1 and Koepka and Hovland on No. 10. We’ll have all the important updates below from Friday at Pebble Beach. Expect similar conditions, with not much wind and soft greens, though it does appear to be a bit chillier this morning. Things could change in the afternoon of course, but it doesn’t seem like the wind will play much of a factor.
(All times eastern)
2:38 p.m.: Tiger hits one of his first errant tee shots of the day, just his second missed fairway, as his fairway wood flails out to the right. It misses the fairway bunkers and looks like it’s sitting up in the rough. Potential flier lie.
Watch out for Francesco Molinari! The Open champion just chipped in at the fourth hole to get to 4-under—which is four back of Justin Rose, who rolled in his birdie at the second hole. Molinari’s game wasn’t exactly sharp on his front nine, as he was in the rough a bunch all morning. And he’s hit just 3 of 13 greens in regulation on his round. But a birdie at 18 and now at 4 has Molinari firmly in the mix of this championship.
And … moving the opposite way is Molinari’s Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter … wow.
2:31 p.m.: Tiger’s great look for birdie from 13 feet at the second hole just slides by to the left side. That was a great opportunity to get his first birdie since the 11th hole. Not so much.
Spieth saves bogey after that adventure back at 2.
2:26 p.m.: Rakegate might become a thing at the second hole. Jordan Spieth was in the right fairway bunker, and his 6-iron from the sand nailed a rake sitting outside the bunker. When have you ever seen that? The ball advanced only about 3 yards, and Spieth has to pitch out from the wispy grass now. Wow … what a bad break for Spieth.
Tiger hits a terrific approach from 207 yards out to about 12 feet, with one of his best looks for birdie on the past couple holes. Maybe it’s time he gets one to go in.
Justin Rose hits one inside Tiger, and he’ll have about 4 feet for a bounce-back birdie. The guy can’t miss!
2:18 p.m.: Tiger finds the fairway with his fairway wood at the long par-4 second hole. The tee ball cut off the left fairway bunkers today, unlike yesterday when he found the island, wispy grass in between the fairway bunkers.
Justin Rose also finds the fairway with his driver after the bogey at No. 1. Spieth’s driver just found the right fairway bunker.
2:13 p.m.: It’s just the second bogey of the week—and first of the day—for Justin Rose here at the first hole. His seven-footer just horseshoed out of hole, dropping Rose back to 7-under, and cutting his lead to just 2 shots. Tiger’s birdie try from 20 feet never really scared the hole, but it’s an easy par for him, and Spieth. They’re both at 2-under for the tournament.
2:07 p.m.: Tiger finds the green on the right hand-side, about 25 feet from this back-left hole location. He’ll have a birdie putt upcoming.
Justin Rose could only advance his second shot about 80 yards, so he had 69 yards for his third shot. He hits it to about 7 feet for a good chance to save par.
2:02 p.m.: Tiger Woods hits another great iron shot—this one off the first tee as this featured group heads to their second nine of the day (the front). Tiger hasn’t missed many irons all round, and there’s another one in the middle of the fairway for the 15-time major champion.
Justin Rose found the deep rough with his iron off the tee, so he’ll be hard-pressed to find the green from there.
1:55 p.m.: From 20 feet, Tiger just misses again, this time just left of the hole, and he settles for another par and a one-under 35 on his opening nine. The way he hit the ball, it probably could have been two or three under—his putter hasn’t gotten hot yet.
Justin Rose got up and down for birdie from the front bunker at 18, extending his lead to three, getting to 8-under, now good enough for a three-shot lead after Matt Kuchar double-bogeyed the 10th and Chesson Hadley bogeyed the third (his 12th). Rose has never entered the weekend under par at a U.S. Open in his career. Looking like that’s going to change.
No, we didn’t forget about Spieth, who two-putted for his birdie and a three-under 33 to tie Woods at two under overall. Right back in it.
1:43 p.m.: Tiger opts for the tactical route at 18, hitting 3-wood and then laying up to a yardage he likes. Spieth gives it a go and rips a cut 3-wood that rolls through the green, but should set him up with a two-putt birdie. Rose goes for it in two as well, though he blocks his short and right into the bunker.
Tiger went up ahead when all this was going on and was ready to go. From 125 yards, he tugs a wedge a bit, but safely finds the green pin high.
1:32 p.m.: Tiger gunned his putt off the right edge at 17, rolling it five feet past the hole. He made the comebacker to stay at two under. Would love a birdie at 18 to turn in 34. Bold statement on our part.
Rose continues to get up and down from wherever he pleases, while Spieth put his bunker shot close but missed his par putt and drops back to one under. Koepka makes his par at 18 to turn in 36 and stay at two under, while Molinari makes birdie to get back to level par for the day, three under for the tournament. Viktor Hovland posted a two-over 38, which drops him to even par overall.
1:22 p.m.: After a bit of a wait, Spieth strikes first and No. 17 and pulls it short and left. Rose comes up short as well, joining Spieth in the bunker. Did Tiger learn anything? You bet. He takes 5 iron and throws a DART just left of the flag, setting up a very good look at birdie. Ahead at the 18th, Francesco Molinari finds the green in two, while Koepka comes up short in the front bunker. That’s a tough spot today with a front right pin location.
1:12 p.m.: Tiger makes it look easy, fluffing a chip to less than a foot and saving par. Rose misses his birdie try on the low side, leaving him with six feet for a par. He drilled it, keeping his run of no three putts alive. From seven feet, Spieth holes his fourth birdie of the day and gets back to two under overall.
Up at 17, Brooks Koepka three-putts from 71 feet and falls back to two under.
1:07 p.m.: Tiger finds another fairway at 16, but makes a huge mistake with his approach by pulling it left of the green with a back left pin. Going to require at great effort to get up and down for par. Meanwhile, Spieth sticks one to around 10 feet with a 7 iron and Rose finds the front right part of the green with an 8 iron.
1:01 p.m.: What a wild front nine for Chesson Hadley. He made five birdies, a double and one bogey to card a two-under 34, putting him at five under for the tournament.
12:57 p.m.: Another good effort from deep for Tiger that just misses on the left side and he settles for par. Spieth left his chip well short, then made a downhill left-to-righter for par. Last to putt was Rose, and it was worth the wait. The Englishman holes his first birdie of the day to move to seven under.
Back at No. 7, Matt Kuchar makes his third birdie of the day to pull within two of the lead.
12:50 p.m.: After six straight pars to begin his round, Brooks Koepka holes his first birdie of the day at the 16th to reach three under. He’s three back of Rose, who just stuck one at the 15th. Tiger followed with his second, hooking one in with a 9 iron but coming up short and leaving himself with a long birdie try. Spieth, who had just a wedge in, overcooked it and his ball one-hopped off the back of the green. Exactly what he didn’t want.
12:42 p.m.: Spoke too soon for Spieth, who missed his short par try. Tiger holed his to stay at two under, and Rose two-putted from 15 feet to keep his one-shot lead at six under. Spieth cleans up his bogey to drop back to one under.
12:39 p.m.: Woods and Spieth both play high lobs and check them up a few feet from the hole. Looks like they will both escape.
12:35 p.m.: Bunch of layups from the marquee group at No. 14, and Spieth goes first with his third, spinning it off the green and calling it a “full-stroke penalty.” Tiger Woods does almost the exact same thing, and they are both back down in the fairway and now have to get up and down for par from a tough spot. Justin Rose learned from those two shots and played it well left of the pin and is pin high.
12:19 p.m.: Tiger’s birdie effort just slides past the left edge at No. 13, keeping him a two under. He’s now tied with Spieth, who just rolled in his third birdie of the morning from off the back of the green. What a start for Jordan.
12:10 p.m.: The par-4 15th is one of the more gettable holes at Pebble Beach, and somehow Chesson Hadley just double-bogeyed it. He’s goes from six under to four under in an instant.
In the least surprising news of the morning, Matt Kuchar is creeping up the leader board. He just made his second birdie in his first four holes to get to four under.
12:02 p.m.: Justin Rose continues to put on a short-game clinic. After hitting his tee shot in the front bunker at No. 12, he splashes one out softly and it rolls just a few feet past the hole, setting up an easy par save. Jordan Spieth chips one to tap-in range as well, while Tiger two-putts from long range for his par.
11:55 a.m.: For reasons that may never be explained, FS1’s featured group coverage rolled out that Cedric the Entertainer piece yet again instead of showing us Tiger’s drive at the 11th. Just a WILD move. But when they caught up with Woods, he was hitting another one close at 11, and this time he buried the putt to reach two under.
Huge make. Same goes for Spieth, who has gone birdie-birdie to get to one under. Rose makes a nice par save to stay at six under, which is now tied for the lead with Chesson Hadley, who just made his third birdie on his opening nine holes at the par-5 14th.
11:43 a.m.: There is some serious grinding going on in the group a few holes ahead of Woods-Spieth-Rose. Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland and Francesco Molinari have all started par-par-par.
11:38 p.m.: Justin Rose takes his two-putt par and clears the stage for Spieth and Woods. Spieth opens with a birdie conversion to get to level par for the tournament, while Tiger’s short birdie effort never had a chance. Feels like a missed opportunity there.
11:32 a.m.: After a very poor day with his irons on Thursday, Tiger stripes his second at No. 10, landing it short of the green and bouncing it on to inside 10 feet. What a start this would be…
11:24 a.m.: The morning wave’s main event—Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth—are off and running on Day 2. Spieth, who needs something low at one over overall, finds the fairway at 10 with a driver. Rose, the solo leader, splits the fairway with the driver as well. Last but not least was Woods, decked out in an all blue outfit. He also finds the short stuff with a driver. Let’s get it on!
11:16 a.m.: After a par at 11, Chesson Hadley makes his second birdie in his first three holes to move to five under at the 12th. Real strong start for Hadley, who is playing in just his second U.S. Open. Aaron Wise also gets a circle on the card with a birdie at No. 5, which gets him back to level par for the round and five under overall.
10:51 a.m.: Featured coverage is about to get underway on the U.S. Open and FS1 app, but for now we’ll just provide a quick leader board update. Aaron Wise, one of the surprise contenders following his first-round 66, is one over through three holes on Friday, putting him at four under for the tournament. Chesson Hadley, who quietly shot a 68 on Thursday, just birdied the 10th hole, his first hole of the day, to reach four under as well. Nate Lashley is off to a tough start at two-over through four holes, dropping him to two under overall.