Si Woo Kim holed out from 167 yards in the 18th fairway for eagle to cap off a superb finish of 6-under par on his last six holes, giving him a 62 and an early share of the lead at the FedEx St. Jude Championship with J.J. Spaun on Thursday.
As the FedEx Cup playoffs begin, the emphasis is on who advances. Only the top 70 from the 125 players who qualified advance to the BMW Championship next week, and then the top 30 move on to the finale at East Lake.
Kim and Spaun, who had eight birdies in such a clean round he couldn’t even think which shot was the best, are both assured of playing next week. Spaun began the postseason at No. 25 on the strength of his first PGA Tour title at the Valero Texas Open.
That win sent him immediately to Augusta National for the Masters, such a quick turnaround that he didn’t get a chance to soak up the experience. He tied for 23rd and would like nothing better to return. Making it to the FedEx Cup finale is likely to do the trick.
“It will be nice to punch another ticket there and be able to plan it out and get down Sunday, maybe even Saturday the week before, take my time and enjoy all the little things that come along with that great tradition,” Spaun said. “Hopefully keep playing well this week and the next couple weeks, and I’ll be there.”
Sahith Theegala, who could make a strong case for PGA Tour rookie of the year, holed a 30-foot putt on his final hole for a 63. Among those another shot back was Tony Finau, coming off two straight victories. It was Finau’s 10th consecutive round at 68 or lower, dating to a 66 in the final round of the British Open.
Scottie Scheffler has the luxury of a slow start as No. 1 in the world and in the FedEx Cup, and that’s a good thing. The Masters champion had a frustrating day of a few odd bounces and a lot of missed chances on the green for a 71.
Rory McIlroy had to make two late birdies to salvage a 70.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.