Prior to this week, Charl Schwartzel had teed it up in the FedEx St. Jude Classic just once. The South African shot rounds of 76 and 70 at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn., in 2010 and missed the cut. That seems to have mattered very little for the 2011 Masters Champion, who is in a three-way tie for the lead with Sebastian Munoz and Chez Reavie at nine-under 131.
Schwartzel, 32, was one bogey away from carding a second straight 65 on Friday, but a dropped shot on the par-3 eighth hole led to a four-under 66 instead. He went off on the back nine, opening with a 24-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th and following it up with birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th holes to turn in four-under 31. While he has 12 victories on the European Tour, Schwartzel has just one other win on the PGA Tour, coming at last season's Valspar Championship. He plays sparingly on the PGA Tour, but makes the most of it when he does. In 10 events this season, he's finished in the top 10 twice, including a solo third at the Masters.
Arizona State alum Chez Reavie shot a bogey-free five-under 65 on Friday. He went out on the front in three-under 32, then made six straight pars before hitting a 247-yard approach shot to 12 feet on the par-5 16th hole and holing the putt for eagle. It’s just his fourth appearance in the FedEx St. Jude Classic, a tournament where he’s had some success, finishing T-12 in 2015 and T-27 in 2013. He’s still looking for his second win on the PGA Tour, the first coming at the 2008 RBC Canadian Open.
Munoz, a PGA Tour rookie, posted another solid round on Friday, a three-under 67 with just one bogey, his only blemish in 36 holes. The Colombian has yet to finish in the top-25 in this season, and has only made four out of nine cuts.
Stewart Cink is just one back at eight-under after carding a bogey-free two-under 68. The 2009 Open Champion began his round with 14 straight pars before making birdies on the 15th and 18th holes. Cink, 44, has now made 15 cuts in 19 events, with two top-10s and eight top-25s.
The low rounds of the day belonged to Adam Scott and J.B. Holmes, who each shot six-under 64s. Scott is only three back at six-under, while Holmes has work to do at two-under for the tournament, seven off the pace.
Phil Mickelson caught fire early in his round, making six birdies on his first 13 holes, but ran out of steam. He played his last five holes in three-over par to finish with a three-under 67 and sits at four-under, five back.