Two of the top young stars in the game of golf are jostling for position at the FedEx St. Jude Classic as the final pairings make the turn on Sunday. Tee times were pushed up at TPC Southwind with thunderstorms expected in the afternoon in the Memphis area. PGA Tour Officials sent threesomes off both tees to try and squeeze in the final round before the inclement weather hits, and the game's biggest stars get antsy to catch their flights to San Francisco for the U.S. Open.
Rory McIlroy currently co-leads with Nick O'Hern at 8-under, with Dustin Johnson just one shot back with nine holes to play. McIlroy went out firing 3-under 32 on the front side. It was a bogey free start that featured three birdies. Rory even missed the birdie chance at the par-5 third hole, which he's played at 3-under the past two days. It was an impressive front side for the Northern Irishman who struggled on Saturday but appears to be rounding his game into form in time for a defense of the U.S. Open.
Johnson held the lead with McIlroy and O'Hern until he dropped a shot at the turn on No. 9. The bomb-and-gouger was tied for 19th last week at Muirfield Village, his first tournament since withdrawing from The Masters in April. Johnson has been steady all week, making his move on Saturday and then carding birdies on three of the first seven holds Sunday morning.
There will be plenty of birdie chances coming in as well. Ken Duke, who trails by just one shot, is absolutely on fire and has birdied five of the first six holes on the back side. John Merrick and Ryan Palmer join Duke and Johnson in the quartet just one shot back.
The winner of the tournament the week before the national championship has never converted back-to-back victories. Of course, both McIlroy and Johnson have a history with the U.S. Open, Rory's more pleasant than Dustin's. With some of the brightest young stars in the game playing well, hopefully the weather holds off in Memphis.
For a complete leaderboard, visit Golf.com.