English maintains 2-stroke lead at TPC Southwind

Golf

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Harris English shot a 5-under 65 on Friday at TPC Southwind to carry onto the lead within the FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

English withstood sturdy challenges from Cameron Smith and Abraham Ancer to carry the highest spot at 13-under 127.

Smith had a 62 that required solely 18 putts, tying a PGA Tour document for fewest putts in a spherical. Ancer shot a bogey-free 62, his tour-leading 14th bogey-free spherical of the season.

Ian Poulter (66), Scottie Scheffler (65) and Sam Burns (64) have been 10 underneath, and Louis Oosthuizen (64) and Bryson DeChambeau (66) have been 9 underneath. DeChambeau missed the Tokyo Olympics final week due to a constructive check for COVID-19.

English opened the World Golf Championships occasion Thursday with a 62 to match his lowest PGA Tour rating and entered the second spherical with a two-stroke benefit over a foursome that included Poulter.

The 2013 winner at TPC Southwind, English confirmed no indicators of relinquishing his lead from the outset. Beginning on the again 9, he rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eleventh and added birdies at 14 and 16.

The one blemish throughout English’s spherical was a bogey on the par-4 second gap. He missed a 9-foot par putt, however recovered instantly with an eagle on the par-5 third. He hit his method inside 5 toes and made the putt to go up by three strokes. He added one other birdie at No. 8.

Two of English’s 4 PGA Tour victories come this season, the Sentry Match of Champions in January in Hawaii and the Vacationers Championship in June in Connecticut. He completed third within the U.S. Open.

“This recreation is all about confidence and in case you have confidence in your facet, you simply run with it,” English stated. “In years previous, a (dangerous shot) would ship me right into a downward spiral. Now I am having fun with the grind of it.”

A comparatively wind-free day produced an abundance of low scores. Of the highest 37 on the leaderboard, 34 shot 69 or higher.

With 48 of the world’s prime 50 gamers within the 66-player subject, English cannot afford to be snug with how the primary two rounds have gone.

“You have to hold the fuel pedal down,” he stated. “The scores are fairly low proper now and you’ll’t let up.”

Smith, who completed tenth on the Tokyo Olympics final weekend, stated he wasn’t conscious of how few putts he had taken till he “including them up” as he walked down the seventeenth fairway.

“I stated, ‘That may’t be proper’,” Smith stated. “It was only a good day on the greens. The surfaces listed here are so good.”

Smith additionally had a bogey-free spherical that included an eagle on the par-5 third gap. He wanted solely seven putts via the primary 9 holes. On the again 9, he rolled in birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 16 – all inside 25 toes – and almost added a birdie on 18, sliding his 22-foot putt simply left of the cup.

Ancer used cast-iron play to publish his 62. Every of his eight birdie putts was inside 17 toes.

“I am actually proud of the way in which I stroked the ball,” he stated. “My lengthy irons have been spot on.”

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