WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational: Jon Rahm three clear in Memphis
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 26/07/19 1:15am
Jon Rahm birdied three of his final four holes to open up a three-shot lead after the opening round of the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.
The Spaniard's fast finish closed out a stunning blemish-free 62 at TPC Southwind, the lowest ever opening round in a WGC event, and pulled him clear of the group of five players sharing second.
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Patrick Cantlay and Bubba Watson are joined by Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama and Shugo Imahara on five under, with English pair Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter both four off the pace.
Last week's Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood sits six back alongside world No 1 Brooks Koepka, while Rory McIlroy birdied four of his final five holes to close out an opening-round 69.
Beginning on the back nine, Rahm recovered from a stray opening tee shot to hole a seven-footer to save par and converted a birdie from a similar distance at the par-three next.
Rahm took advantage of the par-five 16th and rolled in 20-foot birdies on three consecutive holes from the 18th, before leaving a tap-in gain at the sixth to grab the outright advantage.
The world No 8 drained a 15-footer at the seventh and added a third straight birdie from halve the distance at the next, with Rahm holing from eight feet at the ninth - his final hole - to close out a bogey-free card.
Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen, Nate Lashley and Andrew Putnam join Hatton and Poulter on four under, with Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick part of the group five off the pace.
Rahm's playing partners Xander Schauffele and Gary Woodland posted rounds of 69 and 73 respectively, with only 19 of the 63-man field ending the opening round over par.
Watch the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational throughout the week on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 7pm on Sky Sports Golf.