Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Tony Finau isn’t atop the leaderboard following the first round of Thursday’s FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis. However the red-hot golfer is at striking distance, a problem for all of those other field.
Finau shot a six-under 64, leaving him just two strokes behind leaders Si Woo Kim and J.J. Spaun and continuing what is a torrid stretch for the 32-year-old.
Unsurprisingly, social media marketing was singing his praises following Thursday’s strong start:
Sam Harrop @sam_golf
Tony Finau is playing gaming golf right now. https://t.co/66ohSriUOo
Sam Eaton @sameaton12
Im convinced Tony Finau never loses again#FedExPlayoffs
He celebrated his strong begin by…getting ultimately more practice in:
Finau is technically the defending champion after winning the Northern Trust at Liberty National DRIVER last season, that was replaced this season by the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
“A significant different place,” he told reporters Thursday before his opening round. “It’s definitely strange defending on a course that I haven’t won on.”
That defense got off to a shaky start Thursday, with a rough drive on No. 10, but he miraculously were able to salvage a birdie.
“It started with a lowlight, duck hooked my first tee shot,” he told reporters. “But I acquired lucky, had a go, wear it leading of the green and chipped in. It wasn’t the perfect birdie start, but we’re off and running.”
Altogether, he finished with two bogeys and eight birdies, keeping himself in striking distance from the leaders. After winning his last two events, nobody is betting against him to create it three in a row.
Other notable finishers included Rickie Fowler (-5), Jason Day (-5), Cameron Smith (-3), Justin Thomas (-3), Jon Rahm (-3), Jordan Spieth (E), Rory McIlroy (E) and Scottie Scheffler (+1)