Saturday, July 27, 2019

Fitzpatrick takes two-shot St Jude Invitational lead with a brilliant 64

Day Two Report
Matthew Fitzpatrick, pictured above, recorded the lowest World Golf Championships round of his career to take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
The Englishman made seven birdies and a single bogey to sign for a brilliant round of 64 and get to nine under par, ahead of Spaniard and first-round leader Jon Rahm, Americans Billy Horschel and Patrick Cantlay, and Australian Cameron Smith.
Fitzpatrick is a five-time European Tour winner and has now moved himself right into the mix for a first World Golf Championships title His best finish so far has been a tie for seventh at the 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions.
A victory would also extend his remarkable record of having won at least once in every season since claiming his playing privileges at the 2014 Qualifying School.
Japan's Shugo Imahira is three shots off the lead at six under par, a shot clear of Swede Alex Noren, English pair Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, World Number One Brooks Koepka and his fellow Americans Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.
Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson are then at four under par, alongside American pair Nate Lashley and Kevin Na and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.
Player quotes
Matt Fitzpatrick:
"I'm not on anyone's radar every week, it's great. Obviously, you want to get to that stage where you are on the radar and you're doing press conferences every week but, at the same time, being where I am is not an issue. It's a nice place to be.
“Just made my putts. It's something I struggled to do this year. Previous years I've been playing great and end of last year and majority of this year I've struggled a little bit. I mean, it's hard not to putt well on these greens, they're unbelievable.
“I think the golf course probably suits me a little bit more than most. If you miss a fairway, you don't know how it's going to come out of the rough, so that makes it tougher. If I can just keep hitting fairways and greens, then you give yourself a lot of chances.”
Jon Rahm:
“It was key today to finish strong. It wasn't the start I was looking for. A couple of really, really silly mistakes early on and then I couldn't get a couple putts in to get the round going. It happened a little too late, but still glad that I was able to hit a couple of good shots toward the end and stay close. I'm not far from the lead. I could have really ruined the tournament today, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
“Yesterday was just so good in everything. Today I believe it was my iron game, it was just a little bit more tentative. I wasn't as sure or as confident on some of the shots. Hopefully I can tighten that the rest of the week and leave myself a couple short putts.”
Justin Rose:
“Obviously happy with the score. Kind of got off to a slow start today bogeying two of my first three and just tumbling down the leaderboard. And I kind of felt like it would be a little bit like yesterday where the guys would go low and it hasn't really materialised. The lead hasn't stretched out. And obviously to get it in the clubhouse at five under is a great position to be going into the weekend.
“First time in Memphis, I'm kind of getting to know the golf course each day and really enjoying it. It's obviously a great town, the crowds have been great as well, really enjoying the week. Just trying to build some momentum as the week goes on.”
Rory McIlroy:
“If you have a look at my putting stats over the first few days, I'm probably pretty good. I was in the top-10 yesterday and I holed some nice ones today. I guess it was more I just wasn't hitting it close enough when I hit good tee shots. I'm technically good off the tee, but then as I get closer to the green, it's been a bit of a struggle the last two days, so going to try to clean that up over the weekend.
“Position-wise, it's very bunched. It doesn't seem like anyone's going super low. I'm sort of right there. Go out, play a solid round tomorrow, I should have a good chance on Sunday.”


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