MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – AUGUST 11: K.H. Lee of South Korea plays his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind on August 11, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Extra hours spent on the practice putting green is paying off for Korea’s K.H. Lee as he stayed in contention at the FedEx St. Jude Championship on Friday following a second round 1-under 69 which put him in tied ninth position and four strokes behind leader J.J. Spaun.

Lee, a two-time PGA TOUR winner, made four birdies against three bogeys for a 7-under total at TPC Southwind in Memphis to carry Asia’s challenge in the first of three FedExCup Playoffs events, as countryman and co-overnight leader, Si Woo Kim slipped back to T27 following a disappointing 73, 11 shots worse that his opening 62.

Joohyung “Tom” Kim, last week’s Wyndham Championship winner, and Sungjae Im, a two-time winner, made the weekend cut following cards of 70 and 68 for T33 and T60 respectively, while it was the end of the Playoffs for Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan who missed the cut after a 71.

India’s Anirban Lahiri also missed the halfway cut by two strokes following a 69 and is currently projected to drop to 70th place on the FedExCup standings after entering the week in 63rd. It will be a nervous weekend for Lahiri as the top-70 after the FedEx St. Jude Championship advance into next week’s BMW Championship.

Lee, 30, is fighting on two fronts over the next two weeks as he is aiming to qualify for his first TOUR Championship by making the top-30 and also the International Team for the Presidents Cup next month where he is presently one rung outside the automatic top-8 qualifying.

“Recently, I put in a lot of time to practice my putting. So I have some confidence with my putter now. I will try to keep this putter going and make more birdies,” said Lee, whose is projected to move to 30th place on the FedExCup standings.

“Everything worked well. Some good irons and wedge control. I managed all those things pretty well. If I can keep this up, I can enjoy the weekend.”

Spaun, who holds one win on TOUR, carded a 67 to take his second career 36-hole lead/co-lead on 11-under, with Sepp Straka (66) and Troy Merritt (65) sharing second place a shot back.

FedExCup No. 1 Scottie Scheffler missed only his fourth cut of the season by one stroke and first since the Genesis Scottish Open after carding a 68.

Second-Round Notes – Friday, August 12, 2022

Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 91. Wind NNE 10-15 mph.

36-hole cut: 69 players at 2-under 138 from a field of 120 professionals.

Second-Round Leaderboard

J.J. Spaun              62-67—129 (-11)

Sepp Straka          64-66—130 (-10)

Troy Merritt         65-65—130 (-10)

Denny McCarthy 66-65—131 (-9)

Brian Harman       66-66—132 (-8)

Tony Finau           64-68—132 (-8)

Cameron Smith   67-65—132 (-8)

Ryan Palmer         65-67—132 (-8)

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