Spaun and Kim share lead after first round of FedEx St. Jude Championship
South Korea's Kim Si-woo and American J.J. Spaun are the co-leaders at eight under after one round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind.
Being the first round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the field is made up of the top-125 from this season's FedEx Cup standings, minus LIV Golf signees Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, who failed to have their exclusions overturned by a judge earlier this week.
Spaun shot a bogey-free 62 with eight birdies, while Kim posted seven birdies, an eagle and a solitary bogey on the par-three fourth hole.
Speaking on the broadcast after his round, Spaun said he hopes his performance during the playoffs will book his place at The Masters next year.
"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," he said. "Hopefully keep playing well this week and the next couple weeks, and I'll be there."
In outright third place is Sahith Theegala at seven under, while one further shot back tied for fourth are Austria's Sepp Straka, South Korea's Lee Kyoung-hoon, American J.T. Poston and the red-hot Tony Finau, fresh off back-to-back PGA Tour wins for the first time in his career. Finau has shot no worse than 68 from his past 10 rounds.
The logjam in a tie for eighth at five under includes England's Tyrrell Hatton, Australia's former world number one Jason Day, and Rickie Fowler, who barely squeezed into the final field. Last week's 20-year-old first-time winner Joo-hyung 'Tom' Kim highlights the group at four under, along with Adam Scott.
Many of the serious contenders are at three under, including Cam Smith, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and reigning FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, and they are one stroke ahead of major winners Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry at two under.
Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy shot even-par 70s, and the pair of Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris have plenty of work to do after finishing at one over.
Scheffler was responsible for arguably the round's most viral moment as he caught a side-eye from playing partner Smith when he walked right in front of the Australian while he was lining up a putt, with many speculating it was an intentional slight due to reports Smith has signed on with LIV Golf for next season.