Seamus Power takes early lead, Phil Mickelson 1 back at FedEx St. Jude Classic

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Seamus Power takes early lead, Phil Mickelson 1 back at FedEx St. Jude Classic

PGA Tour

Seamus Power takes early lead, Phil Mickelson 1 back at FedEx St. Jude Classic

Here is a recap of Thursday’s first round at the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn.:

LEADING: Seamus Power used a closing-hole birdie to ensure he was out in front alone.

The Irishman birdied two of his first three holes on the day, and offset a sole bogey at the fourth with a birdie at the fifth. Three more birdies at Nos. 12, 16 and 18 gave him a 5-under 65 and a one-shot lead through Day One.

Power was a PGA Tour rookie in 2016-17 and could only muster a finish of 130th in FedEx Cup points. That meant he had to go to Web.com Tour Finals to earn back his PGA Tour card, which he did. This campaign has not been much different, though, as he entered the week 129th in the FedEx Cup, with just four top 25s in 18 starts.

But with this hot start, a change could be coming this week.

CHASING: Phil Mickelson continues to cruise on a layout where he’s finished T-11 or better in each of his last five starts. An eagle, three birdies and a bogey put him in at 4-under 66. He’s tied for second at that number. Brooks Koepka also opens in 66. Steve Stricker is at 4 under as well. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is among those tied for 13th at 3 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Not the best round for Johan Kok, as he fires a 7-over 77. But he drained an unbelievable 86-foot birdie putt on this day…

SHORT SHOTS: Peter Uihlein and Joaquin Niemann are among those in a tie for 36th at 1 under. … Billy Horschel and Hunter Mahan are both T-56 at Even par. … Ole Miss star Braden Thornberry finishes his round bogey-bogey and opens in 3-over 73. A year after finishing in a tie for fourth here, he’s T-115 through 18 holes. … Two-time defending champion Daniel Berger is alongside Horschel and Mahan at Even par.

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