Jon Rahm equalled the lowest round of his career by firing a bogey-free eight-under 62 to take the lead after the first round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
The Spaniard, fresh from his tied-11th place finish at last week’s Open Championship, holds a three-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay, Bubba Watson, Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama and Shugo Imahira.
Rahm’s scintillating 62 was mostly down to a hot putter, as he needed just 23 putts to negotiate the TPC Southwind course in Memphis, Tennessee.
An 8-under par 6️⃣2️⃣.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 26, 2019
It’s been an exceptionally busy period of traveling for Rahm, who competed in two majors on two different continents, and won the Irish Open inbetween.
“I didn’t do anything Monday or Tuesday, I just rested and stretched at the hotel, in the room,” he said.
“And then yesterday I came with the plan of playing 18 holes. I putted and warmed up, and after four holes I was dead. I couldn’t swing properly.
“I was really tired, so I just decided to just finish the round of nine holes, eat and just putt a little bit and go.
“I tried to put a little emphasis on being rested and it paid off today. I have three more days to go and hopefully the battery lasts.
“My last 10 holes, I made a lot of putts. I hit really good putts and I read the greens properly, but I think the main key out of all that, it was my positioning,” he added.
Further down the field, World No 1 Brooks Koepka opened with a two-under 68, while former No 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy both shot one-under 69s.
English duo Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter opened with 66s to lie tied-seventh, while Justin Rose had a 67 and Tommy Fleetwood a 68.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 25, 2019