Morikawa eager to savour taste of success after debut Open triumph
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Englishman Ian Poulter sits just two shots behind leader Harris English following an opening six-under-par, 64 in his first round at the WGC-FedEx Cup St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind.
A bogeyless opening round from the world number 51 ensured he stayed within touching distance of the leader, English who enjoyed a quite superb start to the World Golf Championship event himself.
English’s opening eight-under-par 62 could have been even more spectacular, as the American birdied a remarkable seven of his opening nine holes to leave him seven under at the turn.
The world number 14 was then slightly pegged back following two bogies in his first three holes on the back nine, however he soon returned to seven-under-par following back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th hole.
English capped off a fantastic opening day in style, as he added another birdie to his card to leave him in poll position on eight-under for the tournament.
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The 32-year-old’s opening eight-under is the third consecutive time the day one leader has shot a score of 62 in this event at TPC Southwind.
Things were less straightforward for Rory McIlroy though, as the four-time major winner finished the day at the wrong end of the leaderboard in 62nd on two-over par,
The Northern Irishman consolidated himself into a fairly solid position for the majority of his round, however a double bogey on the 6th was followed by a bogey on the eighth, leaving him three-over-par with one hole to play after he began his round on the tenth tee.
Despite the setbacks the 32-year-old did end his opening round on a positive note, as he birdied his final hole of the day to ensure he would finish with a two-over, 72 on day one.
Bryson DeChambeau marked his return to the course in superb style, after the 2020 US Open champion carded an impressive five-under-par, 65 to leave him just three shots back on day one in Memphis.
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His outing at TPC Southwind is his first since testing positive for Covid-19 just under two weeks ago, which then forced the world number seven to miss out on representing Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games golf event last week.
His fine opening 18 holes may have come as a surprise to many, including DeChambeau himself after the American played down his chances in Memphis ahead of the event at TPC Southwind.
DeChambeau said: “I’m not really expecting much. I’m just going out and trying to get through a whole week and feel comfortable, and then do it again and get my golf swing in a place where I’m comfortable. So maybe some lower expectations this week.”
Defending champion Justin Thomas is five shots behind leader English as he sits in a tie for 14th following his three-under-par, 67.
Day two of the St Jude Invitational will get underway tomorrow afternoon at 3:15pm BST.
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