J.J. Spaun sank two late clutch putts to shoot a 67-under par to take a one-stroke lead after Friday's second round of the US PGA Tour's St. Jude Championship.
The 31-year-old American sunk a 13-foot birdie putt on his penultimate hole, then finished with a seven-foot par to remain at 11-under 129 at TPC Southwind in Memphis,
"It feels good. It's exciting," Spaun said. "There's still a lot of golf left. I'm just going to try to continue what I've been doing the last two days and hopefully it pays off."
Austrian Sepp Straka, who had missed six consecutive cuts entering the event, was tied for second place on 130 points with American Troy Merritt
British Open champion Cameron Smith of Australia was tied for fifth at 132 with Americans Brian Harman, Ryan Palmer and Tony Finau.
The tournament kicks off the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a trio of season-ending tournaments with an $18 million prize for the winner.
Only 125 players qualified for season points and only the top 70 advance to next week's BMW Championship, where 30 qualifiers for the Tour Championship in Atlanta
Spaun won his first US PGA title at the Texas Open in April in 147 starts on the tour and was aiming for a second when he started on the back nine.