Halfway Hut at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude: English leads but Olympians in hot pursuit

A round-up of the best stats, quotes and social after 36 holes at TPC Southwind where the American tops the standings on 13-under.

Despite the 14-hour time gap and resultant jet-lag, expecting those who took part in the Olympics in Japan to fail en masse was never going to work out perfectly in this week's WGC-FedEx. St. Jude Invitational in Tennessee.

And yet fatigue and out-of-synch bodyclocks may well be the explanation for some of the subdued performances so far.

Gold medal winner Xander Schauffele slumped to a 3-over 73 on day two and sits tied 60th of the 66-man field at halfway.

England's Tommy Fleetwood is being left behind after a Friday 70 and sits T47 while, despite fighting back in the second round, Rory McIlroy (T38) and Viktor Hovland (T38) are still feeling the effects of lacklustre starts.

Also in T38 is Collin Morikawa, the Open champion again looking rather flat after all the travel and dropping down the leaderboard after a 1-over 71.

But that's not the whole story.

While Harris English still leads the way on 13-under after tacking on a 5-under 65 to his blistering 62, his nearest challengers are now two returning Olympians.

Cameron Smith and Abraham Ancer performed nicely on day one but took flight on Friday with a pair of blistering 62s. They were the lowest scores of the day. Jet-lag? What jet-lag?!

They're the only Olympians in the top 10 so it will be fascinating to see if they can maintain their challenge.

It's a further shot back to England's Ian Poulter and American pair Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler.

Pre-tournament favourite Brooks Koepka is way back in T47 - 12 off the pace - but Dustin Johnson made a move on Friday, surging 23 spots to T13 after a 65.

The good news for those struggling is that this is a no-cut event so everyone has the chance to climb the leaderboard on the weekend.

Here are the best stats, quotes and social from TPC Southwind after 36 holes.

Click here for the leaderboard

Stats and facts

English ranks 2nd for both Strokes Gained: Tee To Green (5.517) and SG: Putting (4.074) so far. No wonder he's out in front.

His score of 127 ties the second-lowest 36-hole mark in tournament history.

English has converted three of his five 36-hole leads on the PGA TOUR. The first came on this course in 2013 while the latest was at this year's Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Cameron Smith tied the all-time PGA TOUR record for fewest putts in a round. Amazingly, he took just 18! He needed just seven in a front-nine 30.

Ancer ranks 1st for SG: Tee To Green (5.564) and third on Approach (3.369).

Smith, Ancer, Burns, Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott all recorded bogey-free rounds on Friday.

Bryson DeChambeau ranks 1st for SG: Off The Tee despite several of the commentators suggesting poor driving is costing him. But he's just 57th for SG: Around The Green.


Here's what some of the leading players said after Friday's play...

Harris English (-13, 65)

"I've been playing really solid. When I miss the greens, I feel like my short game's been on point and I feel like I'm putting it well. Made some good saves for par, good birdie putts.

"Everything is clicking right now so I feel like my strategy's been working off the tee; a lot of right-to-left holes on the 3-wood, left-to-right holes I feel I can hit my fade with the driver and it's been working out.

"A lot of guys feel like they can overpower this course or hit driver a lot more. My main goal on every hole is to hit it in the fairway and whatever club I'm most comfortable with getting the ball on the fairway.

"Because I feel like my iron game is really good right now and it doesn't really matter if I have a pitching wedge or a 9-iron, I feel I can hit it just as close with a 9-iron as I can a pitching wedge, so there's no benefit in me trying to push it up."

Cameron Smith (-11, 62)

"It's a pretty cool little title I guess to have next to your name (joint-fewest ever putts in a PGA TOUR round). I was actually hitting really nice golf shots as well that ended up just going off the green and made a few of them, and had a chip-in there for par on 4, which kept the round going. Yeah, was seeing the putts really good today.

"The greens are so good around here, if you get the ball started on line and you've hit a good putt, most of the time they're going in. Yeah, really just a good day on the greens, I guess."

Abraham Ancer (-11, 62)

"Very solid off the tee and iron play as well, rolled the ball really good. Happy that I got a round like that under my belt here. This is a very demanding golf course off the tee and also with iron play. I know it wasn't playing as tough as it could be just because it was a little softer and not very windy, but still you have to hit your spots, for sure.

"Monday, Tuesday I was pretty tired, but that first day was key for me. We landed at 9:00 a.m., had a lot of coffee those first two, three hours because I was falling asleep. Went to the gym, just tried to stay awake, and I went to bed at a pretty normal time and slept okay that first day, or that first night.

"Then from there on I felt pretty normal. If I would have just gone to bed that first day, I would have been in trouble."

Ian Poulter (-10, 66)

"All in all, I'm playing some good golf and I feel kind of a little bit recharged and ready to go, and I know a few others that have played the Olympics in the heat are obviously kind of feeling it right now."

Bryson DeChambeau (-9, 65)

"I don't know what was going on (early in his round). My swing didn't feel as good today, but I scrapped it around the golf course really well. And I made three great birdies on 11, 12, 13, which is a tough stretch of golf out here, so I was able to take care of the hard holes today and made a lot of birdies on the par 3s.

"It's definitely gettable. You have to be attacking flags a lot more. Normally the ball's bouncing, running off of the greens because of the wind, but yeah, you can get the ball to stop next to the hole. You've just got to birdie those par 5s, those are the key out there for me and my game, but if I can do that this weekend, hopefully I can give myself a chance."

Louis Oosthuizen (-9, 64)

"I felt yesterday (67) I had a few opportunities where I didn't really make the putts. 10 to 15-foot, not too difficult putts and I didn't hit good putts. Today definitely got the putter rolling nicely and, yeah, just speed was very good today and felt like when I had a good opportunity for birdie, I took advantage of it."


Harris in the zone, Smith's red-hot putter, Ancer racks up the birdies, Mickelson makes a move

Eagle for English

Cam slams in the putts

Abraham on his A-game

Phil goes flag hunting

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