Koepka leads WGC-FedEx St. Jude after scorching Round 1
Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Brooks Koepka torched TPC Southwind on Thursday, firing an 8-under 62 to hole a two-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and Brendon Todd after Round 1 of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

A day after admitting he "can't run" and can barely ride a bike because of a lingering knee injury, the defending champion carded nine birdies for the first time since 2017. He opened Round 1 with four straight red numbers en route to the lowest score of his career on the PGA Tour.

Koepka, who has missed two of his last three cuts and currently sits outside of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, attributed the low round to work put in with swing coach Claude Harmon, short-game coach Pete Cowen, and putting guru Phil Kenyon after last week's poor performance in Minnesota.

Coincidentally, the last time a defending champion led or co-led after 18 holes was Koepka at the 2019 PGA Championship, where he went wire-to-wire to capture his fourth career major.

Here's how the top of the leaderboard stands after Day 1:

Place Player To Par R1 Score
1 Brooks Koepka -8 62
T2 Rickie Fowler -6 64
T2 Brendon Todd -6 64
4 Sung Kang -5 65
T5 Justin Thomas -4 66
T5 Matt Kuchar -4 66
T5 Chez Reavie -4 66
T5 Max Homa -4 66

Newly minted world No. 1 Jon Rahm shot an even-par 70. Rory McIlroy struggled on Day 1 with a 3-over 73.

Round 2 of the event was moved up five hours because of anticipated inclement weather Friday afternoon in Memphis. Second-round tee times will range from 8 a.m. ET to 10 a.m.

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Koepka leads WGC-FedEx St. Jude after scorching Round 1
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