Memphis, Tenn. — Matthew Fitzpatrick is playing at TPC Southwind for the first time in his young career, and the 24-year-old Englishman has found a course that fits him very, very well.
Fitzpatrick shot a 6-under 64 on Friday in the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at the World Golf Championships event.
He birdied the first four holes and finished with seven birdies and a bogey. He took the lead with his fifth birdie and added two more on the back nine to finish at 9-under 131.
“The golf course probably suits me more than most,” Fitzpatrick said. “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 give yourself a lot of chances. And … the greens are so pure. Hopefully, from there just keep doing what I’m doing really.”
This is the third time Fitzpatrick, who is still looking for his first tour win, has had the lead or shared the lead and second this year. He led after the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and finished second.
“It’s a nice place to be,” he said.
Billy Horschel (66) had a chance to catch Fitzpatrick after a birdie on his 17th hole. The 2014 FedExCup champ hit his tee shot on the par-3 eighth to 4 feet only to pull his tee shot left on No. 9 and finish with a bogey. He was tied for second with Patrick Cantlay (68), Cameron Smith (68) and first-round leader Jon Rahm (71). Shugo Imahira (69) was another stroke back.
Top-ranked Brooks Koepka had a 67 to match Justin Rose (68), Bubba Watson (70), Ian Poulter (69), Webb Simpson (66), and Alex Noren (69) at 5 under.
Tom Hoge topped the Barracuda Championship leaderboard with 21 points Friday when second-round play at Montreaux Golf and Country Club was suspended for the day after a long delay because of lightning and heavy rain in Reno, Nev.
Petoskey’s Joey Garber missed the cut with minus-six points.
Senior British Open
Wes Short Jr. shot his second straight 3-under 67 on Friday to take a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Senior British Open in Lytham St. Annes, England.
Tom Gillis (Lake Orion) is tied for 28th after a second-round 73 for a one-over total.
Taking advantage of an earlier start time to get ahead of bad weather, Mi Hyang Lee surged to a 4-under 67 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Evian Championship in France.