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FedEx St. Jude Classic 2022: Tony Finau's Opening-Round 64 Praised by Fans on Twitter

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 11, 2022

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tony Finau isn't atop the leaderboard after the first round of Thursday's FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis. But the red-hot golfer is within striking distance, a concern for the rest of the field.

Finau shot a six-under 64, leaving him just two strokes behind leaders Si Woo Kim and J.J. Spaun and continuing what has been a torrid stretch for the 32-year-old.

Golf Digest @GolfDigest

If you needed a reminder of how good Tony Finau has been playing. ๐Ÿ˜ณ<br><br>(h/t: <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinRayGolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JustinRayGolf</a> )<a href="https://t.co/5hRWp4bYl4">https://t.co/5hRWp4bYl4</a> <a href="https://t.co/Jkt1p5D37G">pic.twitter.com/Jkt1p5D37G</a>

Unsurprisingly, social media was singing his praises following Thursday's strong start:

trey wingo @wingoz

Finau right nowโ€ฆ.. <a href="https://t.co/qnwNmvtF4N">https://t.co/qnwNmvtF4N</a> <a href="https://t.co/Vg7G4gSg0y">pic.twitter.com/Vg7G4gSg0y</a>

Sam Harrop @sam_golf

Tony Finau is playing video game golf at the moment. <a href="https://t.co/66ohSriUOo">https://t.co/66ohSriUOo</a>

Sam Eaton @sameaton12

Iโ€™m convinced Tony Finau never loses againโ€ฆ<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FedExPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FedExPlayoffs</a>

Colton @BullNamed_GUS

Is Tony Finau the next Tiger? Iโ€™m not saying it, but some people are

He celebrated his strong start by...getting more practice in:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Coming off two straight wins, <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyfinaugolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TonyFinauGolf</a> fires an opening round 64 and heads straight to the range. <a href="https://t.co/Elu5cUGgrB">pic.twitter.com/Elu5cUGgrB</a>

Finau is technically the defending champion after winning the Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club last season, which was replaced this year by the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

"Quite a different place," he told reporters Thursday before his opening round. "It's definitely strange defending on a golf course that I haven't won on."

That defense got off to a shaky start on Thursday, with a rough drive on No. 10, but he miraculously managed to salvage a birdie.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Probably not the way he intended ...<br><br>But a birdie to start <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyfinaugolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TonyFinauGolf</a>'s round nonetheless. <a href="https://t.co/lRFnmsUX7u">pic.twitter.com/lRFnmsUX7u</a>

"It started with a lowlight, duck hooked my first tee shot," he told reporters. "But I got lucky, had a shot, put it on the front of the green and chipped in. It wasn't the ideal birdie start, but we're off and running."

In total, he finished with two bogeys and eight birdies, keeping himself in striking distance from the leaders. After winning his last two events, nobody is betting against him to make it three in a row.

Other notable finishers included Rickie Fowler (-5), Jason Day (-5), Cameron Smith (-3), Justin Thomas (-3), Jon Rahm (-3), Jordan Spieth (E), Rory McIlroy (E) and Scottie Scheffler (+1)

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