Johnson leads St Jude at halfway stage
Former world number one Dustin Johnson vaulted ahead of the pack to take the second-round lead at the St Jude Classic.
Now ranked second in the world, Johnson carded a seven-under-par 63 to earn a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the PGA Tour tournament on Friday.
Johnson – 10 under through 36 holes – shot a six-under 29 on his inward nine, taking advantage of pristine scoring conditions at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
The 2016 U.S. Open champion had an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys to stay ahead of fellow Americans Ryan Blaum and Andrew Putnam.
"I really like this golf course," Johnson – who can reclaim the top ranking with victory this week – said. "You really have to focus on every shot. You can't really let up. You have narrow fairways, and you have to hit the fairways. It's a really difficult course to play from the rough."
Blaum and Putnam finished the day tied for second following respective six-under 64s, a shot ahead of C.T. Pan (65) and Wesley Bryan (66).
Brandt Snedeker recorded his best round of the year, tallying an eight-under 62 to get to seven under. He had four birdies on both nines without recording a bogey.
Seamus Power – the first-round leader – dropped down to seventh, four shots off the pace heading into the weekend.
Irishman Power birdied three of his first four holes, but cooled off as he signed off for a second-round 69.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka recovered from a slow start to be five under following a 69 – a stroke ahead of Phil Mickelson (70).