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Encouragement for Appleby in Memphis

Appleby shows his first sign of form for some time (Photo: Getty Images )
Stuart Appleby has missed seven of his last eight cuts in 2018 but in today’s opening round of the Fed Ex St Jude Classic in Memphis in Tennessee things made a turn for the better with an opening 66 to be in a share of 2nd place at the completion of day one.

Birdies at his closing three holes at the TPC Southwind have Appleby just one behind the first round leader Seamus Power of Ireland and although in an eleven way tie for 2nd the improvement is heartening for Appleby who has only limited PGA Tour status these days and plays mainly Web.Com Tour events.

Appleby was a late inclusion in the field following the withdrawal of Keegan Bradley. This is his 12th start in the event but it is not one that has been good to him, having only one top 20 in that time.

Appleby's fellow Australian Matt Jones who qualified for the US Open on Monday is in a share of 13th place but just one behind Appleby and only two from the lead. Jones, too, has had a disappointing start to the season but a 13th place finish in Dallas recently and his success on Monday suggests he too is finding form and confidence.

Aaron Baddeley, too, played his way into the US Open via Sectional Qualifying on Monday but it did not provide the boost he needed after three missed cuts and is at even par and in a share of 59th place although only five shots from Power’s lead.   

Amongst the group in the share of 2nd place with Appleby are Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka while pre tournament favourite Dustin Johnson is two from the lead and tied for 13th. 

KOEPKA FROM THE LONG GRASS

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