2022 St. Jude Championship leaderboard: J.J. Spaun, Si Woo Kim lead early as FedEx Cup Playoffs get underway

An unlikely duo sits atop the FedEx St. Jude Championship leaderboard after Spherical 1 at TPC Southwind on Thursday. Si Woo Kim and J.J. Spaun each shot 62 within the early wave, a stroke higher than Sahith Theegala. They’re going to take the lead into Friday with most of the largest stars within the area struggling to work their manner up the leaderboard and a few of these decrease down within the FedEx Cup standings profiting from that.

There was loads of motion within the FedEx Cup standings — each within the center and on the backside — as the primary of the three playoff occasions started Thursday, and that has implications not just for the three-week stretch which pays out $75 million but additionally for the remainder of this week as golfers who weren’t essentially anticipated to contend for this championship are actually in place to take action.

Let’s check out Kim, Spaun and your entire first spherical in Memphis, Tennessee.

The leaders

T1. J.J. Spaun, Si Woo Kim (-8): Kim clearly has big-time chops with regards to profitable tournaments of girth, however Spaun has by no means completed higher than 62nd within the FedEx Cup. Now each are projected all the best way as much as the highest three with 2,000 FedEx Cup factors at stake for the winner Sunday. Whereas their scorecards appeared totally different — Spaun was flawless all through, Kim shot 28 on the again 9 — they each carried out on the highest stage with regards to crucial talent in profitable a golf match. Kim completed first in method pictures and Spaun completed third, which led to the dueling 62s they shot to paved the way early on at this occasion.

Different contenders

3. Sahith Theegala (-7)

T4. J.T. Poston, Tony Finau, Okay.H. Lee, Sepp Straka (-6)

T8. Troy Merritt, Tyrrell Hatton, Sam Burns, Lee Hodges, Rickie Fowler, Ryan Palmer, Michael Thompson, Jason Day, Lucas Glover, James Hahn (-5)

This does not precisely scream “Tremendous Bowl of golf” like some might need imagined, however there’s one man to key in on right here, and it is a man who I suppose would possibly find yourself profitable your entire FedEx Cup. Tony Finau shot a 64 on Thursday, which — considerably extremely — is barely beneath his 10-round common after he gained each the 3M Open and the Rocket Mortgage Basic in back-to-back weeks.

He is the brand new favourite to win this week as effectively and given how he is been enjoying, he must be. What’s fascinating about Finau’s spherical is that he did not even unleash his largest weapon, rating exterior the highest 40 in driving distance and doing most of his harm with elite iron play. I am pumped to see if Finau could make it three straight this weekend. Additionally, his shoe sport was big in Spherical 1.

Fowler pops off

Rickie Fowler shot his second finest spherical of the 12 months with a 65 (he shot a 63 in Spherical 3 of the CJ Cup, which he almost went on to win). Fowler narrowly sneaked into the playoffs within the final spot at No. 125 within the FedEx Cup standings. He took benefit of that chance in Spherical 1.

“I felt like I obtained some good things in and in a manner type of coming in, nothing to lose,” Fowler mentioned. “Being 125, I must play effectively to simply make it to subsequent week, however it could be an enormous bonus if we will try this and transfer on. Sort of go away all of it on the market, see what occurs, however undoubtedly pleased with the beginning, particularly with not making an entire lot.”

Fowler and longtime caddie Joe Skovron parted methods after final week’s Wyndham Championship, and although that needed to be odd after over a decade of partnership, Fowler mentioned the historical past helped even in Skovron’s absence.

“I felt nice,” Fowler mentioned. “It was extra so going into this week not having Joe with me, clearly a tremendous partnership over time, nevertheless it was going to be extra about me taking possession and placing extra of a workload on myself and extra accountability. I nonetheless had loads of his voice and one-liners and stuff in my head, so he wasn’t on the bag however he was undoubtedly current.”

Regardless of the nice day, Fowler nonetheless has loads of work to do — he is solely projected to get to eighty fifth within the FedEx Cup standings — however a feel-good story for someone who’s been struggling for the final two years is beginning to bubble up a bit.

Unintended slight?

Scottie Scheffler had one of many worst placing rounds of his life and shot 71 due to it (he completed a hundred and twentieth within the area in placing). The extra fascinating story — at the very least on Twitter — was that it appeared like at one level of their rounds, Scheffler walked straight in entrance of Cam Smith as Smith was setting as much as putt. Was it a sign to Smith, who’s reportedly headed to the LIV Golf League after the playoffs, that he is now not welcome on the PGA Tour? I did not actually see it that manner — it appeared fairly unintentional and fully innocent — though Smith’s response to Scheffler strolling in entrance of him engendered every kind of commentary from of us watching on TV. One man strolling in entrance of one other on a round patch of grass stirring up followers at house is, by the best way, a really “regular sport” second.

Largest FedEx Cup movers from Thursday

Patrick McDonald began this look two weeks in the past on the Rocket Mortgage Basic, and now the implications are attending to East Lake, the Tour Championship and the assured $500,000 that comes with that. The highest 70 make it to the BMW Championship earlier than the highest 30 transfer on to the Tour Championship and the final spherical of the playoffs. Here is who jumped up on Thursday.

Si Woo Kim




Lucas Glover




Jason Day



Rickie Fowler 125 85 No

James Hahn



Ryan Palmer 110 72 No
Michael Thompson 103 68 Sure

Lee Hodges



J.J. Spaun 25 2 Sure

Sahith Theegala




2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship up to date odds and picks

  • Tony Finau: 7-1
  • Sam Burns: 12-1
  • Si Woo Kim: 12-1
  • Sahith Theegala: 16-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 18-1
  • Cam Smith: 20-1
  • Justin Thomas: 20-1
  • Jon Rahm: 22-1
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick: 22-1

It is simple to consider in Kim given how effectively he hit the ball in Spherical 1, and Spaun at 25-1 is fascinating as effectively. Nevertheless it is Burns at 12-1 and Fowler at 80-1 that intrigue me probably the most. Fowler hit the ball fairly effectively Thursday, and if he continues to putt a bit I believe he might be in it till the tip. Burns completed sixth from tee to inexperienced and is persistently underrated as one of many 10-12 finest gamers on the planet. He must be a menace over the subsequent 54 holes, and I really like him at 12-1.

Rick Gehman and Kyle Porter recap Thursday’s motion on the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship. Comply with & hearken to The First Reduce on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.  

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