American JJ Spaun, world number 98, retained the lead in the St. Jude Championship, first round of the FeEx Cup qualifiers, after the second round played this Friday in Memphis.
The 31-year-old golfer, who is aiming for his second North American PGA Tour title after winning the Texas Open in April, shot 67 (-3), with five birdies and two bogeys.
He is -11, one move better than the duo of Austrian Sepp Straka, who has missed the cut in his last six tournaments, and American Troy Merritt, who eagled at number 16. Australian Cameron Smith, world number two and winner of the last British Open in July, is in fifth position, three points behind Americans Brian Harman and Tony Finau.
Justin Thomas (7th), who won the PGA Championship in the spring, is five strokes behind 17th place.
FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay (4th) and Spaniard Jon Rahm (6th) are 28th and 33rd respectively, six and seven strokes behind. Rahm suffered in defining a day in which he hit sixteen of the eighteen greens on the Memphis course without issue. However, his problems with the putt were noticed and this prevented him from taking off in the standings. Five birdies and four bogeys signed the Barrika player.
World number 1 Scottie Scheffler and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy (3rd) missed the cut and are out of competition.
The St. Jude Championship is the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, featuring the top 125 players from the PGA Tour regular season.
Only the top 70 players will advance to the next round, next week’s BMW Championship in Wilmington, Delaware, where the top 30 players will earn a spot in the circuit’s final championship in Atlanta. The winner of this final round will win a check for $18 million.
129 JJ Spaun (USA) (62-67)
130 Troy Merritt (USA) (65-65)
Sepp Straka (AUT) (64-66)
131 Denny McCarthy (USA) (66-65)
132 Tony Finau (USA) (64-68)
Brian Harman (USA) (66-66)
Ryan Palmer (USA) (65-67)
Cameron Smith (Australia) (67-65)
133 Tyler Duncan (USA) (70-63)
Lucas Glover (USA) (65-68)
Emiliano Grillo (ARG) (67-66)
Kevin Kisner (USA) (69-64)
Kyung-Hoon Lee (KOR) (64-69)
Trey Mullinax (USA) (66-67)
Adam Scott (Australia) (66-67)
Sahith Theegala (USA) (63-70)
136 Jon Rahm (ESP) (67-69)
They were not accepted:
139 Rory McIlroy (NIR) (70-69)
Scottie Scheffler (USA) (71-68)
144 Jordan Spieth (USA) (70-74)
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