Memories, solid golf propel English to early lead at WGC

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Round 1 leader at WGC-St Jude Invitational, Harris English is eyeing his fifth PGA Tour win. Photo: Golf.com
Round 1 leader at WGC-St Jude Invitational, Harris English is eyeing his fifth PGA Tour win. Photo: Golf.com

In his first WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational since 2016 (Firestone CC), Harris English tied for his career-low score with birdies on seven of his first nine holes. He also tied TPC Southwind’s lowest 9-hole score of 28.

English’s first of four career PGA Tour titles was the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.

 

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With his 6-under 64, Jim Herman extended his streak of par-or-better rounds on the PGA Tour this season to 13.

Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz opened his first WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational with a bogey-free 6-under 64.

Coming off top-10 finishes in two of his last three starts in the event, Ian Poulter opened with 6-under 64.

Defending champion Justin Thomas was T13 at 3-under 67.

After making bogey on 13, Marc Leishman eagled the 16th hole and four other birdies to shoot a 65. He finished 3rd in the 2019 edition and was T51 in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 last week.

 

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English finished his round with birdies on three of his last four holes en route to tying his career-low score on Tour (most recent: R4/2020 The RSM Classic/T6).

He needed 25 putts to sink a total of 135’1” of putts; finished the round leading Strokes Gained: Putting (3.256).

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When holding at least a share of the 18-hole lead on Tour, he has converted on two of four occasions (2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic, 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions).

He is the only player to win a World Golf Championships stroke-play event after opening with a 62 or better was Adam Scott (2011 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational).

English is making his fourth start in the event, but first since moving to TPC Southwind.

He has finished inside the top three in two of his last three Tour starts (3rd/U.S. Open, P1/Travelers Championship); most recently finished T46 at The Open Championship.

With wins this season at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and Travelers Championship (both via playoffs), a victory this week would make him the season’s first three-time winner.

Text: PGA Tour