FedEx St. Jude Classic 2020: Brendon Todd Leads After Shooting 65 in 2nd Round

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 31, 2020

Brendon Todd watches his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the World Golf Championship-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Friday, July 31, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Brendon Todd's hot streak at the 2020 FedEx St. Jude Classic continued on Friday, as the Pittsburgh native moved into sole possession of the lead thanks to a bogey-free 65 in the second round.

Todd's 36-hole score of 11-under par is two shots clear of Rickie Fowler. He jumped up one spot on the leaderboard after opening the tournament with a 64 on Thursday. 

Brooks Koepka, who led after the first round with a 62, fell into a three-way tie for third place after shooting 71 on Friday. Byeong Hun An and Chez Reavie are in that cluster with Koepka at seven under par. 

Here's the top of the leaderboard through the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, via PGATour.com:

1. Brendon Todd (-11)

2. Rickie Fowler (-9)

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T3. Brooks Koepka (-7)

T3. Byeong Hun An (-7)

T3. Chez Reavie (-7)

T6. Sung Kang (-6)

T6. Matthew Fitzpatrick (-6)

T8. Jason Day (-5)

T8. Sungjae Im (-5)

T8. Webb Simpson (-5)

T8. Louis Oosthuizen (-5)

   

There's very little that Todd hasn't done well through the first two rounds, but he's been particularly impressive on the back nine. The 35-year-old is eight under par on the back nine thus far, including a 50-foot birdie putt on No. 14 today:

Putting has been Todd's key to success at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. He gained 3.988 strokes on the green in the second round and an average of 3.42 through 36 holes. 

Todd is seeking his third victory on the PGA Tour this season and first since the Mayakoba Golf Classic in November. He hasn't finished inside the top 10 in any event since The RSM Classic (Nov. 21-24). 

Fowler looks ready to kick open the door if Todd stumbles in the next two days. The 31-year-old appeared to be in trouble after a double-bogey on the par-three 11th but closed with a flurry thanks to back-to-back birdies on the final two holes. 

This has been a difficult season for Fowler, who is chasing his first win since the 2019 Phoenix Open. He has missed the cut in five of his previous nine events and hasn't finished higher than 12th since The American Express in January. 

The back nine was especially difficult for Koepka, who started his round on No. 9. The first-round leader had two bogeys, one double-bogey and one birdie and made the turn at three over par for the day. 

Per Justin Ray of 15th Club, the biggest difference for Koepka between Rounds 1 and 2 was putting:

Matthew Fitzpatrick and Kevin Na tied for the low score of the day (64). Fitzpatrick moved into shouting distance of Todd at six under par; Na has more work to do at four under par, but Friday's showing was a big step forward after a 72 in the first round. 

Rory McIlroy also turned things around after struggling with an opening-round 73. The four-time major champion got under par going into the weekend thanks to a four-under 66. He's still 10 shots off the pace set by Todd. 

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