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FedEx St,Jude Classic. English Excels.

Harris English excelled his expectations with a win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, in Memphis Tennessee.

English bulldog

Harris English / Badz / Getty Images

Harris had a final round of -1 under par 71 to win the FedEx St.Jude Classic, with a tournament total of -12 under par. A handful of old high school buddies had a calming influence from the gallery as Harris attained his first PGA Tour victory, with a two shot win at TPC Southwind in Memphis. He praised the support of friends and the influence of caddy Brian Smith;

“I had probably 10 high school friends out there today, and I know that if I make a birdie or a bogey, they’re probably going to be the same and they’re rooting me on. I was just really relaxed out there today. Bogeyed eight and nine, which was tough. But I knew if I kept it together on the back nine, I could make a run at the thing. I really didn’t think I’d be in this seat right here coming off nine.  I thought I kind of made some really dumb bogeys on eight, nine and kind of shot myself out of the tournament. But Smitty was saying, Hey let’s go beat this back nine. Let’s get back under par for the tournament for the day, and let’s get after it. So it was almost pedal to the metal. It’s quite an unbelievable feeling.”

Tied in second place at -10 under par were Scott Stallings and Phil Mickelson. Phil had a final round of -3 under par, 67 and was encouraged by the way he played going into the Major next week;

“I’m really encouraged with the way I hit my irons. Got to get the 3-wood in play a little bit more, although next week at Merion distance won’t be as critical as TPC Southwind. I’ll be able to hit higher and softer shots.”

Scott was looking good for a win, and was at  -12 under par at the turn, with four birdies on the front side. But he sadly finished with a double bogey, a birdie and a bogey in his final four holes. He hopes to have learned something from the experience;

“You have to learn from the experiences that you have like this today and hopefully I’ll get a little bit better break next time. Harris has played great coming down the stretch.”

Ryan Palmer was alone in fourth spot, he also had a final round of -3 under par for his tournament total of -9 under par, three shots off the pace.

FedEx St. Jude Classic. English Breaks Clear of the Pack

Harris English shot a second round of -6 under par, 64 to break clear of the pack in the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.

FedEx St. Jude Classic

Harris English / Lyons / Getty Images

Harris English has given himself a two shot lead at the half-way stage of the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis Tennessee, with his 36 hole score of -10 under par. He had a red-hot putter and said it was awesome to be at the top;

” It’s awesome to be in this position, I’ve worked very hard the last couple weeks and couple months to get in this position, and I feel like I’m ready and I feel like I got a lot of good people around me to help me. I haven’t holed out in a while, to make it on 2, probably the hardest hole on the golf course, is kind of unbelievable. I grew up on greens like this down in south Georgia, fast Bermuda greens. I’m very comfortable on these type of greens. I know when it’s going to be fast, and it’s really fast. And when into the green, it’s really slow. I have a good handle on the speed, that’s really what helped me today. When you get the speed down on the greens, you can start making some putts. I’m still looking for my first win and still hungry to be the best and to try to get my first win.”

Nearest challenger on Friday was Shawn Stefani, who had a second round of -5 under par for his tournament total of -8 under par.

Tied in third place are Paul Haley 11 and Scott Stallings, both players are at -5 under par.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson is at -3 under par but has more or less conceded this tournament, especially if Harris has another good round tomorrow;

“If he has another two days like the first two, it will be tough to catch him,. But I would say I look forward to being bunched throughout on Sunday coming down the stretch.”

Being seven shots behind the leader at the moment Dustin needs a good round tomorrow, but still needs Harris to have an off round to even think of catching him.

Missing the cut here in Memphis, Brandt Snedeker, D.A. Points and Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China who made the cut at the Masters. Paul Goydos missed the cut too, but he did play on Friday, shooting a 72,  after fearing that he had re-injured his left wrist during the opening round. Tim Clark and David Duval also joined the missed cut brigade.

 

FedEx St Jude Classic, Dustin Johnson Wins

 

He's back, folks

Dustin Johnson Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

Dustin Johnson, the injury comeback kid, has won the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, Memphis in Tennessee by one shot from John Merrick. Dustin who was returning after a three-month layoff due to injury, has picked up a win in his second start back, this is his sixth PGA TOUR title. Dustin won with a tournament total of -9 under par. after his final round of -4 under par, 66. Dustin said about his tournament;

” Well, it feels really good. Especially having so much time off, coming back. You know, last week helped a lot competing and getting back in the groove of things. And then, you know, I came out this week and I really, I just played well all week.”

John Merrick was alone is second place after his last round of -2 under par, 68. John has been at or near the top of the leaderboard all this week, and has been well rewarded with his second place effort. He said of his week;

 ” It was fun. It was a blast. I feel like lately I’ve been in the hunt to make the cut lately. It’s why you practice, man. It’s fun to be in the hunt, feel pressure, and just proud of how I hung in there.”

Four players were tied for third place, all finishing the tournament with -7 under par, they were; Ryan Palmer, Chad Campbell,         Nick O’Hern and Davis Love 111.

Rory McIlroy finished at -6 under par, after standing on the 18th tee tied for the lead at -8 under par. An errant tee shot straight into the water ended any chance he had in this tournament, slumping to a double bogey six on the last hole. He was asked if deciding to play here was the right decision, and also hitting 3 wood of f the last tee;

 “Yeah, it was. I saw a lot of positive signs this week. I got in a good position after 11 holes of the final round and hit a couple of shots coming in, but, you know, overall it’s still a pretty good week and just looking forward to getting to San Francisco and going there.        3-wood off the tee. Trying to hit the same shot I hit yesterday off the tee and turned it too much. I was missing that 3-wood left all day. To be honest, I wasn’t really that comfortable with it, but I knew it was the shot that I needed to play and I didn’t hit the way I wanted to.”

It was a really good outing for Rory, getting him into good shape and playing some decent golf in preparation for his defense of his title at the U.S Open. The missed cuts he endured recently are now hopefully just history, and he will go forward with some confidence.

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.

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