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Brooks Koepka opens with 62 for Round 1 lead at FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Brooks Koepka, who is the defending champion at the tournament, matched his career best with an 8-under 62 to take a two-shot lead at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Brooks Koepka, who is the defending champion at the tournament, matched his career best with an 8-under 62 to take a two-shot lead at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

July 30 (UPI) -- Brooks Koepka matched his career best with an 8-under 62 to take a two-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and Brendon Todd in Thursday's opening round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

A week after failing to make the cut in the 3M Open, Koepka had nine birdies and one bogey on a windy day at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn. Koepka, who is the defending champion at the tournament, credited his coaches Claude Harmon and Pete Cowen for his success on the course.

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"It's the first time I feel like I know where my misses are, I know when the club's in the correct spot, I know when the putting stroke's nice," Koepka said. "It's all just the work we've put in over the last three weeks of countless hours of beating balls and on the putting green."

Fowler, who last missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament, had seven birdies but bogeyed his final hole to finish at 64. Todd also opened at 64 with seven birdies and a bogey.

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Sung Kang shot a 65 to sit in fourth. Justin Thomas, who can move back to No. 1 in the world with a win, opened with a 66 and was tied for fifth with Matt Kuchar, Chez Reavie and Max Homa.

Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia were among those tied for ninth at 3-under par. Jon Rahm, playing in his first event since becoming the world's top-ranked golfer, shot 70.

Rory McIlroy opened with a 73, while Jordan Spieth carded a 2-under 68 in the first round.

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