WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: Cameron Smith Ties PGA Tour Record by Finishing on Harris English | Golf news

Cameron Smith only needs 18 putts in his 62 second round at TPC Southwind; The Australian shares second place with Abraham Ancer while Harris English retains the lead with Ian Poulter still well placed; watch the third round live on Sky Sports Golf from 5:30 p.m. on Saturday

Last updated: 06/08/21 22:42

Cameron Smith tied the PGA Tour record as he only needed 18 putts out of his 62 in the second round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational - here are the highlights and the Australian's reaction

Cameron Smith tied the PGA Tour record as he only needed 18 putts out of his 62 in the second round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational – here are the highlights and the Australian’s reaction

Cameron Smith tied the PGA Tour record as he only needed 18 putts out of his 62 in the second round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational – here are the highlights and the Australian’s reaction

Cameron Smith narrowly missed a new PGA Tour pitching record as he rushed into the second round race at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

The 27-year-old Australian only needed a record minimum of 18 putts in 18 holes as he made his way around TPC Southwind in Memphis in eight under 62.

This propelled Smith into an 11-under second-place share with Abraham Ancer as Harris English stayed two points clear at the top of the standings after a five-under 65.

Smith, who tapped five feet to birdie first, broke through a bunker on the green to eagle the third, then recovered the par with a 22-foot chip from the green in the fourth.

He landed a 30-foot putt for a birdie in the fifth and a close approach allowed another win in the sixth before three pars saw him turn in 30, requiring just seven putts, a record, out of the first nine.

World number 28 Smith tied for 10th at the Olympics last week

World number 28 Smith tied for 10th at the Olympics last week

Smith’s putter wasn’t as hot on the last nine, but more birdies followed in the 12th, 14th and 16th and he was denied a new record of 17 putts in one round when he had to tap after failing to pierce bangs at 17, before his 22-foot birdie foot curled left at 18.

“It’s a pretty cool little headline that I guess I have next to your name,” Smith said. “I was actually hitting some really good golf shots as well that ended up coming off the green and making a few, and I had a chip in there for the par of four, which kept the course going. I was really seeing good putts today.

“It’s always nice, whether it’s on the green or not, to punch those normal-length putts and keep the momentum going.

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“The greens are so good here, if you throw the ball in line and hit a good putt, most of the time they come in. Yeah, really just a good day on the greens, I guess.”

Ancer tied Smith’s 62 with eight birdies on his 13th bogey-less round of the season, which also tied a PGA Tour record and provided the Mexican with the lowest lap of his career so far.

“It’s always my goal, to be bogey-free when I do it,” he said. “Getting me to sort of simplify every hole and get me touching the greens is the biggest goal, and then from there I obviously focus on my putting.

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“Glad to have had a game like this under my belt here. It’s a very demanding golf course off the tee and also with an iron game. I know it wasn’t as hard as it was. could have been just because it was a little softer and not very windy, but you still have to hit your spots, that’s for sure. “

The Englishman had a 62 on Thursday to set the pace at the start and he kept his momentum going to 13 under with a 65 that contained four birdies and a third-by-five eagle where he hit his second shot at five feet, after a bogey the previous hole.

Harris English won the first of his four PGA Tour victories at the TPC Southwind in 2013

Harris English won the first of his four PGA Tour victories at the TPC Southwind in 2013

“Everything is clicking right now, so I feel like my strategy worked from the start,” he said. “You have to keep the gas pedal down. The scores are pretty low right now and you can’t relax.”

Ian Poulter continued his challenge and late push for a place in the Ryder Cup scoring 66 to four to share fourth place at 10 under with American duo Sam Burns (64) and Scottie Scheffler (65), with Louis Oosthuizen (64) and Bryson DeChambeau (66) just behind on nine under.

Ian Poulter was happy with his 66 second round as he remained in contention at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational

Ian Poulter was happy with his 66 second round as he remained in contention at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational

Ian Poulter was happy with his 66 second round as he remained in contention at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational

Rory McIlroy produced an improved performance with a 66 after his first 72, birdies that boosted confidence at 16th and 18th, putting him tied for 38th place with two under.

Watch the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues with featured groups on Saturdays starting at 2 p.m. via the red button, before switching to Sky Sports Golf starting at 5.30 p.m.

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