FedEx St. Jude Classic, Three Tied at the Top, Rory slips back.

Rory slides back

Rory McIlroy Lyons/Getty Images

There are three players tied at the top of the leaderboard in the FedEx, St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind. The leaders are at -6 under par for 54 holes with Nick O’Hern completing his round at -3 under par for a total of -6 under par for the tournament. That tournament total was matched by Davis Love 111 and John Merrick who was one of the first round leaders.

There are six players just one shot off the lead, including Rory McIlroy, who somehow managed to rack up six bogeys during his third round, against four birdies. This left him with a total of -5 under par, and still in contention for the trophy on Sunday. The other players tied in second place at -5 under par are, Dustin Johnson, Robert Allenby, Kevin Kisner, Chad Campbell and Kevin Stadler.

In all there are sixteen players within three shots of the leaders, and it will be an exciting final round to watch as all these professional players vie to be on top of the leaderboard at the end of the round on Sunday afternoon. I personally think that Rory will regroup and come out firing on all cylinders on Sunday, especially as he now knows that Lee Westwood has won over on the European Tour in Sweden. Lee  is hot on his heels in the race for the number one ranking, both of them trying to catch Luke Donald.

FedEx St Jude Classic, McIlroy Leads after 36 holes.

 

MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 08:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the par 3 8th hole during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind on June 8, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 Rory McIlroy, Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy put his recent troubles behind him as he shot a second round -5 under par 65 to lead by one stroke after 36 holes, at the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee. Rory’s tournament total is -7 under par, hot on his heels at -6 under par are three players; J.B. Holmes, who had the best round of the day, a -6 under par 64, Jeff Maggert, one of the first round leaders. Joining them at that mark is Kevin Stadler, who matched Rory’s round of 65 for the day. Rory was full of confidence after his days work;

“You know, it was a really, really good round of golf out there today. I saw a lot of positive signs with my ball-striking. Hit a lot of good iron shots and drivers. So that was something that I was really working on the last couple of weeks and feels like it’s coming together for me. So excited to be in this position going into the week. Could have been even better, could have made eagle on 16, but, you know, to finish strong the way I did was great and it gives me momentum going into tomorrow. It’s nice to see my name on that part of the leaderboard. It’s not nice when you’re struggling to make the cut on a Friday afternoon. It was great. It’s nice to be through to the weekend, obviously. It’s obviously even nicer to be leading and have a great chance.”

J.B. Holmes was pleased with the way he had played;

“I just kind of hit everything. I wasn’t knocking pins down, but I hit them in there pretty close. Made a couple 6-footers, but I putted well. I was hitting it 15, 20 feet and making some putts.”

The other first round leader John Merrick, is now two shots off the lead after his second round score of -1 under par, 69, for a two round total of -5 under par.

There are a host of players at -4 under par for two rounds, including Rory’s playing partner Padraig Harrington who scored another -2 under par round of 68.

Notables missing the cut are, last years champion Harrison Frazar with a two round score of +11 over par.Graeme McDowell, who had another horrendous round to finish with a +8 over par total. David Duval and Jhonattan Vegas both finished with +6 to miss the cut.

Zach Johnson also missed the cut with a two round total of +4 over par, a poor effort by his high standards. Colombian Camillo Villegas at +3, and Robert Karlsson at +4.

FedEx St. Jude Classic, @ TPC Southwind · Memphis, Tennessee. M @ M lead

 

 

 

Jeff Maggert and John Merrick lead the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis Tennessee with both players shooting -4 under par, 66’s. That’s only one shot better than a plethora of players, four in all, who are chasing the leaders.

Jeff  took advantage of teeing off in the first group experiencing calm conditions for the first seven holes, and finished with four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys. John managed to  match his best round of the year with six birdies and two bogeys, the last on No. 18 when his tee shot went into the water to drop him back into a tie for the lead. He was upset about the last hole;

“Had a loose shot there on 18, but you know, can’t hit every shot perfect out there. So, I was really happy with today. I got off to a really good start. I’m really happy with where I am today,”

Ireland is well represented, with Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington both home safely after the first round at -2 under par for the tournament. They are joined at that score by Major winner big John Daly, Davis Love 111 and Y.E. Yang. Spencer Levin, last weeks contender had to settle for a first round score of +1 over par, Kyle Stanley is another on that score, Kyle suffered from three bogey’s on his round.

Rory was very happy with his improvement;

“I felt like that was about the best round of golf I played in a while. It could have been a lot better. Middle of the fairway, 3-under par have a 9-iron into the green par 5,  The scoring doesn’t look too good. Off to a decent start definitely, 2 under is a decent start. Definitely so. Lot of good signs out there.”

Rory’s playing partner Padraig Harrington spoke about the changes to the course;

“It’s gusting a bit, but it’s definitely from an unusual direction. And anybody who has played over the past number of years, it’s playing a different golf course. On 9 there, I’m hitting driver off the tee. I normally hit 5-wood off the tee. There’s a lot of holes to have changed like that out there. Some are much tougher, and some are a little easier.”

High profile strugglers over par on the first day included Jhonattan Vegas and Henrik Stenson at +2, Zach Johnson at +3, David Toms at +4. There were two players at +10 for the first round, to save embarrassment I will not name them, they will definitely not be  here for the weekend.