Matthew Fitzpatrick birdied his first four holes out of the gate on the way to a nine-under 64 and a two-shot lead at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
The 24-year-old Englishman, who is still searching for his first win outside of Europe, added three more birdies and an eagle after that flying start to take his total to nine under par at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.
That was two shots clear of four others – overnight leader Jon Rahm, who followed up his opening 62 with a far more sedate 71, Australian Cameron Smith (68), and Americans Patrick Cantlay (68) and Billy Horschel (66)
Japan’s Shugo Imahira carded a 69 to lie a further stroke back in sixth place, while the some big names follow on five under, four back, including World No 1 Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Bubba Watson.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 26, 2019
Rory McIlroy is also still in the hunt after adding a 67 to his opening 69. He lies on four under, five shots back.
The day belonged to Fitzpatrick, however, who seems to be inching ever closer to a maiden PGA Tour title after a runner-up finish at Bay Hill earlier this year.
“My irons have been pretty good all year to be honest. My putter is what I’ve been struggling with,” he said. “That’s obviously done well so far this week.
“I definitely think if you can just keep giving yourself a lot of chances, playing to the smart areas of the green, hopefully there should be less mistakes.
“Obviously I’d love to win,” he added. “Winning a WGC is a goal of mine, but we’re only halfway through the tournament so hopefully just keep pushing on and see where we end up.”
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Merger to create better opportunities.