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Saturday, 27 July 2019
Jon Rahm  (Getty Images)
Jon Rahm (Getty Images)

Jon Rahm, Alex Noren and Justin Rose all overcame slow starts on day two to put themselves right in the mix heading into the weekend at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

World Number Eight Rahm entered the day at TPC Southwind with a three shot lead but that soon disappeared as he dropped shots on the third, fourth and 12th.

He bounced back with an 18 footer on the 13th but gave the shot back on the 15th before making the most of the next and putting an approach to five feet on the penultimate hole to get back within two of the lead.

"It was key today to finish strong," he said. "It wasn't the start I was looking for. A couple of really, really silly mistakes early on and then I couldn't get a couple of putts in to get the round going.

"It happened a little too late but I'm still glad that I was able to hit a couple of good shots toward the end and stay close. I'm not far from the lead. I could have really ruined the tournament today, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

After a first round of 67 had left Rose five shots behind Rahm, the Englishman bogeyed the tenth and 12th and his chances of being in contention for a third World Golf Championships title looked to be disappearing rapidly.

The World Number Four recovered but still turned in one over for the day before making gains on the third, fourth and sixth to fly back up the leaderboard.

He had a good look at birdie on the ninth but had to settle for a par and a 68 that left him just four off the lead.

"I'm happy with the score," he said. "I kind of got off to a slow start today, bogeying two of my first three and just tumbling down the leaderboard.

"I was happy that I never really panicked, I never really got frustrated. I got into a bit a nice flow on the back nine, the putting warmed up.

"I'm just trying to build some momentum as the week goes on."

Noren was also five under and his recovery was even more impressive after he found water on the 12th and three putted the 14th to be three over for his round.

A birdie on the 16th steadied the ship before he made a hat-trick from the first, and another gain on the sixth had him at six under.

A bogey at the ninth took some of the gloss off his 69 but the Swede will also head into the weekend just four back as he looks for European Tour title number 11.

"My back nine, the front nine, was great," he said. "Three birdies on one, two, three and then I played good, I had chances pretty much every hole there. Half chances on a few but it felt pretty steady.

"Then I hit a bad drive on the last left and had to lay-up but otherwise it was good."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-16
2SIMPSON, WebbUSA18-13
3LEISHMAN, MarcAUS18-12
T4FLEETWOOD, TommyENG18-11
T4FITZPATRICK, MatthewENG18-11
T4MCILROY, RoryNIR18-11

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