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Home / Sport / 2020 WGC-St. Jude Invitational leaderboard, takeaways: Brooks Koepka takes the lead after Round 1 in Memphis

2020 WGC-St. Jude Invitational leaderboard, takeaways: Brooks Koepka takes the lead after Round 1 in Memphis



The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational has a big-name leader, a big boy board and a little big humor as Bryson DeChambeau tried to get a drop out of a potentially “dangerous” situation (more on that below). Last year’s champion is this year’s leader as Brooks Koepka shot 62 on Thursday to lead Rickie Fowler and Brendon Todd with two and Sung Kang with three. This is not a result of the first round that everyone saw forcibly coming, but Koepka was by far the most impressive in this small 78-player stadium on Thursday in Round 1.

Let’s jump into his round and who’s going on as we enter Round 2 on Friday.

Brooks Koepka (-8) Koepka came across a cut of MC-T62-MC that featured some of the worst golf he had played in a 1

2-month stretch of pretty terrible golf (by his standards). So obviously he dropped 62 filthy filth Round 1 to take a strong lead on a number of stars. I say this about Koepka: when he feels and the body is right, no one makes it simpler. There are others that make it seem easier, but no one makes it seem simpler. Every shot and every putt that hits screams “yeah, that’s what you’re supposed to do with the ball.” He seems to be sniffing the PGA Championship next week – where he is looking to become the first player to win three in a row in nearly 100 years – as he was calmed down sustainably on Thursday (from tee to green) . If you look a little closer to his numbers than last week at the 3M Open, he actually hit the ball hard, he just didn’t putt anything. That changed on Thursday at TPC Southwind, and he is now your leader.

T2. Brendon Todd, Rickie Fowler (-6) and 4. Sung Kang (-5) Fabulous round by Fowler, who so far has not had many of them in 2020. The swing looked good on Thursday, saying after his round that he tried to focus less on his swing tweaks and more on golf only. He worked in Round 1 as he shot his lowest round on the PGA Tour in 18 months.

T5. Matt Kuchar, Chez Reavie, Maz Homa, Justin Thomas (-4) JT sneaked into the quiet wire on Thursday with Jim “Bones” Mackay on the bag for him over this two-week major stretch. Thomas was my choice to win this week, and did nothing to discourage me. Thomas hit the ball beautifully and barely found his place. That’s the formula for a great Round 2 pop from perhaps the best ball striker on the PGA Tour since it restarted.

T9. Phil Mickelson, Abraham Ancer, Sergio Garcia, Sungjae Im, Viktor Hovland, Bryson DeChambeau (-3) Bryson was involved in my favorite moment of Round 1 when he tried to get a free drop because he saw a couple of fire ants “knocking” near his ball late in his round. He didn’t receive the free fall, but he was still solid in a much softer course than he had seen in Muirfield Village a couple of weeks ago. His 67 included 10 lost waterways, which means some kind of correction is likely to come there and something even lower could be on the deck of Friday.

T26. Dustin Johnson (-1) – Raise your hand if you saw a DJ – three straight rounds of 80-80-78 – beat Jon Rahm by one and Rory McIlroy by four after making a triple in his penultimate hole. Now all of you who are lying can put your hands up. What is even more tiring is that a DJ hit the lovely ball and put his round together with a smoking driver. Golf is absolutely stupid and never more so than when two stars, who have been struggling for more than a year, lead the No. 1 player in the world to come out with his biggest job.

T45. Jon Rahm (E) – Rahm spilled for most of his first round as the best ranked player in the world. Club drops, heartburn, stares of disbelief. It was Rahm’s full experience on Thursday at TPC Southwind. He didn’t play badly, but now finds himself almost double-digit for a four-time major winner to come in on Friday. He will have to hit the ball better (like, much better) than a tee to green (49 on Thursday) if he wants to be the mix on Sunday for his second straight championship.

T68. Rory McIlroy (+3) – The one he suffers the most from as the PGA Tour resumed in June again suffers him on Thursday in Round 1. McIlroy finished second to last with the attacks gained on shots of approach and struggles vigorously during a course where he has prospered in the past. If he dug a little deeper, his proximity to the hole wasn’t too bad, but he lost the majority of his strokes on two holes on the ninth in front of him. This bodes well for Good Friday. So does a birdie in two of his last three holes.

CBS Sports has been with you all the way to update this story with the latest scores, updates and highlights below. Check out the direct scores at the top of this story or some more detailed leaderboard.




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