Heavy hitters Koepka and McIlroy make their moves in Memphis

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick takes two-shot lead at WGC-St Jude Invitational

 Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational  in Memphis, Tennessee. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Four-times major champions Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy have not quite fired on all cylinders at the WGC-St Jude Invitational, but still lurked within striking distance of halfway leader Matthew Fitzpatrick in Memphis on Friday.

Koepka finally saw a few putts drop and carded a second round three-under 67 that left him four shots behind at TPC Southwind, equal seventh. McIlroy also shot 67, despite some loose iron play. He trailed by five strokes.

World number one Koepka could not buy a putt at the British Open last week despite finishing tied for fourth, but he is feeling more at home this week on faster greens.

“I’ve putted really good last week and this week. Today they just decided to drop,” the American told Golf Channel.

“It’s always good when you see some go in early, build some confidence and get it rolling.

“It’s nice to get on some fast greens. These greens are so good anything inside 10 feet you should be making.”

For McIlroy, however, birdie chances from inside 10 feet were few and far between. He had just one to be precise, a three-footer at the par-five 16th that he duly sank.

“I’m hitting it pretty good off the tee but as I get closer to the green it’s been a bit of a struggle the last two days, so going to try to clean that up over the weekend,” he said.

“Position wise it’s very bunched, so I’m sort of right there,” he said.

“Play a solid round tomorrow and I should have a good chance on Sunday.”

LEADERBOARD
(USA unless stated, par 70)

131 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 67 64

133 Cameron Smith (Aus) 65 68, Jon Rahm (Esp) 62 71, Billy Horschel 67 66, Patrick Cantlay 65 68

134 Shugo Imahira (Jpn) 65 69

135 Brooks Koepka 68 67, Justin Rose (Eng) 67 68, Alex Noren (Swe) 66 69, Ian Poulter (Eng) 66 69, Bubba Watson 65 70, Webb Simpson 69 66

136 Kevin Na 70 66, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 65 71, Rory McIlroy (N Irl) 69 67, Nate Lashley 66 70, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 67

137 Justin Thomas 68 69, Andrew Putnam 66 71, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 66 71, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 66 71

138 Haotong Li (Chn) 69 69, Dustin Johnson 69 69, Adam Scott (Aus) 70 68, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 68 70, Marc Leishman (Aus) 69 69, Chez Reavie 68 70, Corey Conners (Can) 67 71

139 Matt Wallace (Eng) 70 69, Xander Schauffele 69 70, Jim Furyk 74 65, Patrick Reed 73 66

140 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 69 71, Matt Kuchar 70 70, Jordan Spieth 70 70

141 Jason Day (Aus) 72 69, Danny Willett (Eng) 69 72, Aaron Rai (Eng) 72 69, Phil Mickelson 68 73, Tony Finau 70 71, Kodai Ichihara (Jpn) 71 70, Adam Long 71 70, Paul Casey (Eng) 70 71, Bryson DeChambeau 67 74, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 70 71, Poom Saksansin (Tha) 68 73

142 Matthew Wolff 72 70, Justin Harding (Rsa) 72 70, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 72 70, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 73 69, Brandt Snedeker 69 73

143 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 69 74, Keith Mitchell 73 70

144 Sung Kang (Kor) 69 75, Gary Woodland 73 71, Eddie Pepperell (Eng) 70 74, Kevin Kisner 77 67

145 Philip Eriksson (Swe) 73 72

147 Max Homa 74 73, JB Holmes 76 71

152 Keegan Bradley 74 78, Mikumu Horikawa (Jpn) 75 77

153 Kevin Tway 76 77

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