MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Rickie Fowler and Jason Day faced enough stress just to make sure they would make it to the postseason on the PGA Tour. Now that they are here, they are not ready to leave any time soon.
Fowler made a change of caddies and putters. And finally, he started to see some putts going into the hole, though he’s still not completely satisfied.
Day recovered from a fever so high it felt like it was burning his eyes. And he didn’t have a single bogey Thursday at the TPC Southwind course.
Both closed with cards of 65 hits, five under par.
Not enough to lead the FedEx St. Jude Championship. But it gives them hope.
Si Woo Kim hit a 167-yard shot all the way down the fairway to the 18th hole, for an eagle that allowed him to close his six-under-par day in the last six holes. After posting a 62, he shares the lead with JJ Spaun.
Sahith Theegala, who might have a case for Tour Rookie of the Year, hit a 30-foot putt on his final hole for a score of 63. Among others a shot behind was Tony Finau, who comes from two consecutive wins.
It was Finau’s tenth round in a row with 68 or less. He goes back for a 66 on the final day of the British Open.
But as the FedEx Cup playoffs begin, the emphasis is also on who advances. Only the top 70 of 125 qualified golfers advance to next week’s BMW Championship.
Then the top 30 will be at the close at East Lake.
Fowler snuck in with number 125 and needs his best golf of the last two years to get into the next round.
“I have nothing to lose,” Fowler said. “Being the 125th, logically I have to play well just to get to next week, but it would be an added incentive to do so. You have to leave it there and see what happens, but I’m definitely happy with the start.