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Thomas, Kokrak share PGA lead at Medinah, Tiger six back

18 August 2019

CAMERON Percy shot a first-round 64 including a hole-out eagle on the par-four 11 hole to tie the lead in the Korn Ferry Tour's Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship in Ohio. He hit his tee shot at the par-5 fifth hole 321 yards, setting up one of his four birdies on the day.

This was just Matsuyama's day and a statement after Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak tied the course record of 65 in the opening round. He's now 65 in the FedEx Cup standings and oddsmakers have put him at 500/1 to win.

McDowell was 64th leading into this week's event but McIlroy, at third, in looking for a big advantage over the field going into the season's climax.

Thomas followed up his course-record performance with a solid 69 to be 10 under through two rounds, while Kokrak (73) dropped into a tie for 21st at six under.

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"I thought about doing some number-crunching and seeing what I had to finish, but I think putting myself in a good position to win a golf tournament is going to get the job done", he said.

Thomas ran off three consecutive birdies ending with a spectacular 57-foot birdie putt at the par-4 16th then got up and down from a bunker at 18 for par to seize the lead. I had to just let it calm down and get a bunch of treatment on it, and it feels so much better.

Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak were struggling with their swings, but that was on the driving range.

Woods won the 1999 PGA Championship here, holding off Sergio Garcia by one shot. "I'm trying to make changes in my swing, and it's just not quite there yet". Some have jumped safely inside the top-30 and others added to their President's Cup résumés. "I need reps, and I just really haven't put in a lot of reps".

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Billy Horschel (50/1): Horschel won the BMW, Tour Championship and FedEx Cup title in 2014.

"This is one of the places that I've thoroughly enjoyed playing over the years, and this was the area that I made my first cut on the PGA Tour, a long time ago".

Although Scott has not won an event anywhere in almost three years, he has twice been runner-up in 2019 and appears to be peaking at just the right time given the looming riches of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.

"It's another opportunity this week to try and climb a little bit higher going into Atlanta", McIlroy said.

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Ranked 33rd prior to the event, Matsuyama is projected to move up to second with victory and he said: "I wish I knew why I putted so well today". The 30th player will start at even par.

Thomas, Kokrak share PGA lead at Medinah, Tiger six back