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FedEx-St. Jude live blog: Day 3

By , Daily Memphian Updated: August 08, 2021 1:35 PM CT | Published: August 03, 2021 7:16 PM CT

Harris English, who tied the front-nine course record with a 28, leads after day one with a 62. Four golfers are two shots back — Jim Herman, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter and Matthew Wolff.

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August 08, 2021

Round 4 underway at TPC Southwind as wind picks up

12:58 PM CT, August 8

Welcome to the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind. The winds have picked up a little, meaning the course will play somewhat harder today.

The leaders have yet to tee off, but if you look at what players already on the course are doing, you get a sense that things will be a little tougher today.


English continues to set the pace as DeChambeau vaults into contention


Kevin Kisner shot a 79 this morning. Martin Laird is 6 over par and Justin Rose is 5 over par today, and both are still on the course.

There are some good scores to be had as well. Webb Simpson is 6 under on his round through 17 holes. Rory McIlroy has birdied four of the first six holes he’s played.

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August 07, 2021

FedEx St. Jude final-round pairings and tee times

8:39 PM CT, August 7

Here are Sunday’s pairings and tee times for the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude at TPC Southwind.

7:25 a.m.: Min-Woo Lee; Wilco Nienaber

7:35 a.m.: Cam Davis; Si-Woo Kim

7:45 a.m.: Xander Schauffele; K.H. Lee

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Tournament Central: Weekend crowds put a charge into TPC Southwind

8:48 PM CT, August 7

Welcome to The Daily Memphian’s Tournament Central newsletter. We’ll be sending it out every evening this week and also posting it to our live tournament blog to keep you up-to-date with all the action. If you want to get it delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for it here or use the box on the top right of the page. 


English continues to set the pace as DeChambeau vaults into contention


Saturday brought the fun. 

For the first two rounds, the crowds were polite and nice, like a fancy cocktail party at a high-end restaurant.

Saturday, the crowds were larger, more vocal and more festive. Kids angled for fist bumps from players as they went from green to tee (and most of the players obliged). Couples pondered the best vantage points. And larger groups of friends marveled at the shotmaking. 

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Round 3 recap: Fans brought the energy, players responded

6:32 PM CT, August 7

The good scoring continued Saturday afternoon, but by the end, the leaders had separated themselves.


Spieth sizzles early as big names start strong


Bryson DeChambeau, playing in front of the largest gallery, survived a shaky front nine, then got on a birdie run on the back nine that had his gallery cheering wildly. He made five birdies on the back nine, each one seemingly growing his gallery in size and volume.

He briefly caught leader Harris English, but the man who has led after each round answered with two birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to reach -18 and take a two-shot lead into Sunday.


Third round of the WGC event is underway


Also two shots back is Cameron Smith, who made four birdies on the back nine to shoot 65 and stay in contention.

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Spieth sizzles early as big names start strong

12:32 PM CT, August 7

Those who went off early on Saturday took the moving day mantra to heart. Saturdays on the PGA Tour are known as moving day because it’s the day when a player can make a move and get into position to have a chance to win on Sunday.

Jordan Spieth provided Exhibit A, posting a wild 63 to move up 41 spots on the leaderboard before noon. Spieth eagled the par-5 16th hole and added three birdies on both the front and back nine.


English keeps the heat on at WGC-FedEx St. Jude


Spieth may be one of the hottest players heading into Sunday. He started the tournament 4-over par after his first five holes. Since then, he is 11-under par over his past 31 holes.

Other notables who are off to good starts on Saturday include Hideki Matsuyama (4-under through nine) and Rory McIlroy (-4).

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Third round of the WGC event is underway

10:20 AM CT, August 7

The third round of the WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind started early — 7:25 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 — as players in this small but elite field look to take advantage of ideal conditions.

Under what is best described as a “chamber of commerce” morning — beautiful blue skies, low humidity and no wind — that looks great to those watching on television, there are dozens of players who could make a move today.


Round 2 recap: Players continue to take advantage of windless days


Some big names — Rory McIlroy and Justin Spieth — are already on the course. McIlroy had an early birdie on the second hole as he tries to go low and get back in the tournament. Spieth, who had that horrible start (he was four over after five holes), has made two birdies on his front nine today and is now at -2 for the tournament.

One morning pairing worth following is Sergio Garcia and Collin Morikawa, two of the best ball strikers on the tour. They went off at 9:40 a.m.

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August 06, 2021

Tournament Central: No winds mean a weekend shootout

6:14 PM CT, August 6

Welcome to The Daily Memphian’s Tournament Central newsletter. We’ll be sending it out every evening this week and also posting it to our live tournament blog to keep you up-to-date with all the action. If you want to get it delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for it here or use the box on the top right of the page. 

When three players in two days flirt with the course record, that means there are lots of birdies to be had. 

On Friday, Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner birdied the first two holes they played. Phil Mickelson said hold my beer and promptly birdied the first four holes he played.


English keeps the heat on at WGC-FedEx St. Jude


Cameron Smith and Abraham Ancer said, hey old man, step aside as we play through. They each shot 62 and had a chance on 18 for a birdie to tie the course record.

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FedEx St. Jude Invitational tee times for Saturday, Aug. 7

6:00 PM CT, August 6

Here are the tee times and player pairings for Saturday’s third round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind. 

Saturday

Tee No. 1

7:25 a.m.: Lucas Glover, Wilco Nienaber

7:35 a.m.: Matt Fitzpatrick, Cameron Cha.m.p

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English keeps the heat on at WGC-FedEx St. Jude

5:11 PM CT, August 6

After flirting with a course-record during the opening round, Harris English delivered a reasonable facsimile Friday at TPC Southwind. And by doing so, he has put himself in position to join an exclusive club.

English, who tied the nine-hole course record on the front nine Thursday before settling for a 62 – one stroke off the course mark – turned in a less spectacular but equally satisfying round of 65 and leads by two strokes heading into the weekend at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. 


FedEx dedicates plane to St. Jude patient


After his round on Thursday, English praised the TPC Southwind track and for good reason. The first of his four career victories on tour came in Memphis in 2013, and if he can finish the job Sunday, he would become just the eighth multi-time winner in the 64-year history of Memphis’ PGA stop.

Not that he’s taking anything for granted at a tournament where low scores have been the norm through the first two rounds.

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Round 2 recap: Players continue to take advantage of windless days

5:15 PM CT, August 6

Another day of calm conditions, another pair of 62s, and lots of low scores. The famed winds of TPC Southwind — its main defense against the world’s best golfers — have been nonexistent during the first two rounds.

As a result, players were firing at pins, going on birdie streaks and mercilessly taking advantage of the golf course.


Tournament Central: TPC Southwind is the star on Day 1


Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith each shot 62 Friday — and they are still two shots off the lead. That’s because Harris English, who shot a 62 Thursday, backed it up with a 65 today to finish at 13-under. That is the second lowest 36 hole score in tournament history.

Five players had bogey-free rounds, another indicator that scoring conditions were ideal.

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Look who’s making a Friday run

1:06 PM CT, August 6

The lunchtime surprise at TPC Southwind Friday is Phil Mickelson’s fast climb up the leader board. The crowd favorite birdied the first four holes he played to get near the leaders.


Round 2 underway, good scoring continues


He made a 27-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to make the turn in 30 and tied for 10th place. Mickelson has moved up 26 spots since his opening 1 under 69 on Thursday.

His initial birdie barrage drew cheers across the golf course as his gallery grew by the hole. His fourth birdie, on the par 3 4th, was a quick putt from off the green. Fans following Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson on the third hole, turned and cheered as the putt rolled in.

Harris English was cruising along until a bogey on the normally easy second hole brought him back to -10, one ahead of Ian Poulter.

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Round 2 underway, good scoring continues

10:46 AM CT, August 6

The second round is underway with a little less sun, but still plenty of birdies. There is no wind to speak of and players are taking advantage early and often.

First-round leader Harris English birdied the second hole he played and now has a three-shot lead early in the day. Kevin Kisner (-5) and Sergio Garcia (-2) each has birdied the first two holes they played today.


Tournament Central: TPC Southwind is the star on Day 1


With a small field — 66 players — fans are getting a chance to see the world’s top players all playing literally at the same time. The last players tee off at 11:05 a.m., so everyone will be on the course at the same time from then until about 2 p.m., when the first players finish their rounds.

The crowds are good and energetic, but have not been overwhelming. Fans are able to get great views along the ropes because it’s not too crowded.

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August 05, 2021

Tournament Central: TPC Southwind is the star on Day 1

5:38 PM CT, August 5

Welcome to The Daily Memphian’s Tournament Central newsletter. We’ll be sending it out every evening this week and also posting it to our live tournament blog to keep you up-to-date with all the action. If you want to get it delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for it here or use the box on the top right of the page. 

The first day featured perfect weather (clear blue skies, not too hot and calm winds) and low scores. Harris English flirted with the course record after making birdies on seven of his first nine holes.

That 28 on the front tied the record for best nine-hole start at TPC Southwind. He finished with a 62, one off the course record, and a two-shot lead over four players tied for second.


Collin Morikawa got a grip in Memphis in 2020


Daily Memphian reporter John Varlas chronicles English’s most proper day.

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Day 1 recap, and a very smart dog

5:07 PM CT, August 5

Memphis provided the world’s best golfers with a picture-perfect weather and an immaculate course most players love. They responded with a scoring party that almost included a course record.

The small but elite field of players blistered the course Thursday night — 45 of the 66 players shot under par.


Calkins: Bryson DeChambeau is unvaccinated, unrepentant — and delusional


Harris English, who tied the front-nine course record with a 28 (he parred the first four holes he played and seven of the first nine), leads after day one with a 62. That’s one off the course record.

Four golfers are two shots back — Jim Herman, Carlos Ortiz, Ian Poulter and Matthew Wolff.

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Trio of 64s set the early pace

3:19 PM CT, August 5

Jim Herman, the first player to tee off Thursday morning, was joined by Carlos Ortiz and Matthew Wolff at the top of the leaderboard after each shot 6-under 64s. 

Bryson DeChambeau finished one shot back, as did Scottie Scheffler and Marc Leishman. 

Harris English, who tied the front-nine course record with a 28, has cooled off a little and is at 6-under with three holes to play.

With most players still out on the course, 41 of the 66 competitors are under par. Notable exceptions are Adam Scott (+4), Viktor Hovland (+3) and Rory McIlroy (+2).

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FedEx dedicates plane to St. Jude patient

2:23 PM CT, August 5

Fly high, Kenzie.

One of the main things – probably the main thing – that makes Memphis’ annual PGA Tour stop special is its relationship with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Another example of that took place Thursday, Aug. 5, when FedEx dedicated a Cessna Caravan airplane to a 17-year-old patient named Kenzie.

The honor came as part of the Purple Eagle Program, which recognizes a St. Jude patient who is also the child of a FedEx employee, and is now in its ninth year. Kenzie’s dad, Michael, is a mechanic with FedEx Express.

“The FedEx Purple Eagle Program is one of a kind, inspiring outpatient families who are part of the FedEx family and delighting supporters everywhere who see the named planes in rotation,” said Richard Shadyac, president and CEO of ALSAC, the hospital’s fundraising and awareness arm. “We know Kenzie’s story ... inspire hope in other kids who are being treated for pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

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Players continue to go low in first round

1:46 PM CT, August 5

Led by what could be a record-setting performance, players continued to pour in birdies as the first round continued Thursday afternoon.

Harris English birdied the first four holes he played, and six of his first seven, to shoot a 28 on the front nine. That tied the course record for the front nine, last done in 2002 by Joel Edwards.

The overall course record, 61 (accomplished three times, most recently last year by Tom Lewis) is a possibility.

English is not the only one playing well. More than half the field is under par. Bryson DeChambeau, who has drawn a large gallery today, is two back at -5.

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Early birdie barrage underway as tournament gets going

11:28 AM CT, August 5

The combination of perfect gorgeous weather and a fast, immaculate golf course has led to many early birdies in the first round of the Invitational.

Jim Herman, the first person to tee off at 9:15, has birdied half of his first eight holes and is leading at 4 under par. Less than two hours into the tournament, 22 players are under par.

That includes Bryson DeChambeau at -2, as well as Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed at -1. Not doing well is Jordan Speith, who is at +4 after making two bogeys and a double bogey in his first five holes.

Have a question? Post it in the comments section below and we will try to get you an answer.

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August 04, 2021

Tournament Central: Small field loaded with big names ready to go

5:11 PM CT, August 4

Welcome to Tournament Central, the daily newsletter you signed up for and will receive for the next five days to keep you up to date on the FedEx St. Jude Invitational from TPC Southwind. 

We will bring you exclusive content, as well as a one-stop roundup of all the coverage by our team of six reporters, editors and photographers.


Collin Morikawa got a grip in Memphis in 2020


Unlike most PGA Tour events, this is an elite, small-field tournament with almost all of the biggest names in golf. The field of 66 players includes 48 of the top 50 players in the world and nine of the top 10. 

The only top 10 player missing is the world’s top-ranked player, Jon Rahm, who had committed to playing and then withdrew two weeks ago and has since tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

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Spieth playing his way into likely Ryder Cup spot

2:44 PM CT, August 4

Jordan Spieth’s COVID cloud ultimately produced a silver lining.

Spieth, who comes to Memphis as the 11th-ranked player in the world and second behind Collin Morikawa in the FedEx Cup standings, acknowledged on Wednesday that he likely wouldn’t have made the U.S. Ryder Cup team had it been held as scheduled last September. But he most likely has played his way on to the squad with a superb 2021.

The 28-year-old Dallas native has nine top-10 finishes, including a victory in April at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio. One of his two second-place finishes came in his most recent start, at the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.

“I think it’s kind of a lucky break in a way,” he said of last year’s pandemic postponement. “I wouldn’t have picked myself last year even though I think I could have helped the team. I just love the tournament, find a way to make it work and win some matches.”

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World No. 2 Johnson comes to Memphis on a roll

12:08 PM CT, August 4

Few golfers on tour are having as good a season as Dustin Johnson.

The 37-year-old native of Columbia, South Carolina, has posted six top-10 finishes, highlighted by a victory at the 2020 Masters, which had been delayed until November because of the pandemic. It was his first green jacket and the second major of his career; he also won the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2016.

And although Johnson missed the cut at the 3M Open in Minnesota two weeks ago — one of only three times this season that he failed to make it to the weekend — he comes to Memphis with the confidence that befits his status as the second-ranked player in the world.

“I feel like the game is in good form,” he said Wednesday. “Obviously even in Minnesota I actually played pretty well, just struggled with the putter. I wasn’t too disappointed. (And) a pretty good finish at the Open Championship (eighth place). I feel like the game’s really close to being good.”

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August 03, 2021

FedEx St. Jude Invitational tee times for Friday, Aug. 6

5:21 PM CT, August 3

Here are the tee times and player pairings for Friday’s second round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind. Weekend tee times will be determined by player standings.

Friday

Tee No. 1

9:15 a.m: Will Zalatoris; Victor Perez; Min Woo Lee

9:26 a.m.: Robert MacIntyre; Lucas Glover; Wilco Nienaber

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Defending champ Thomas reconnects with old friend named Nate

7:12 PM CT, August 3

Winning the tournament championship in 2020 was more than enough to bring Justin Thomas back to Memphis this year. The relationships he’s making might be enough to bring him back in the future, regardless of his title status.

Thomas, the 28-year-old from Louisville, bagged his 13th career tour victory last year, shooting a 13-under 267 and finishing three strokes clear of the field. He followed that up with a victory at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in March and comes to town fifth in the world rankings.


FedEx St. Jude Invitational tee times for Friday, Aug. 6


But while Memphis in 2020 will always hold a special place in Thomas’ heart, his relationship with one particular St. Jude patient may be even more special. Last year, a 10-year-old boy and aspiring golfer named Nate customized a pair of shoes —adorned with pizza slices — that Thomas wore during the tournament. They reconnected on Tuesday, this time in person.

“To spend some time with Nate and get to talk to him, he was kind of quiet as I kind of remembered through videos last year,” said Thomas, who is playing in Memphis for the third consecutive year.

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Topics

golf WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Justin Thomas

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