American shoots 8-under 62 to open defense of his title at TPC Southwind and take a 2-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler (remember him?) and Brendon Todd in the final tuneup for next week's PGA
4: Number of consecutive birdies that Brooks Koepka made to start his round Thursday en route to an 8-under 62 and the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tenn. Starting on the front side at TPC Southwind, Koepka holed putts of 9, 7, 2 and 23 feet, respectively, on Nos. 1-4. Koepka made bogey after an errant drive at the par-4 seventh and then played the final 11 holes in 5 under to tie his career-low score. Koepka, the defending champion, entered the week after having missed cuts in two of the past three weeks, with the third event merely a T-62 at the Memorial. He also will be the defending champion next week in the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Americans Rickie Fowler and Brendon Todd shared second with 6-under 64s at TPC Southwind. Fowler, who has missed three cuts in five starts since the season restart last month, has slipped to No. 32 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Todd won twice in the fall early in the 2019-20 season, at Bermuda and at Mayakoba. South Korea’s Sung Kang was fourth at 65. Spain’s Jon Rahm, making his first start since he won the Memorial two weeks ago and moved to No. 1 in the world ranking, offset four bogeys with four birdies for a 70. No. 2-ranked Rory McIlroy, who made three consecutive bogeys on his front nine, was 5 over through 15 before making birdies on two of his last three holes to salvage a 3-over 73. The elite 78-man event will not make a 36-hole cut (scores).
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