Thornberry Places 26th at FedEx St. Jude Classic
Braden Thornberry hits an approach shot in the final round of the 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic (Photo by Jake Thompson)
Braden Thornberry hits an approach shot in the final round of the 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic (Photo by Jake Thompson)
June 10, 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – With the help of a 66 (-4) on Friday and a 65 (-5) on Saturday, Ole Miss golfer Braden Thornberry finished tied for 26th at the PGA Tour’s FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind (June 7-10). Going up against 155 professional golfers, the rising senior made his third cut in the fourth PGA Tour event of his career. 

Thornberry finished the tournament at 4-under (73-66-65-72—276), one of 44 golfers under par. No one was able to catch Dustin Johnson, who ended up at 19-under to cruise to a six-shot victory.

After a 3-over 73 put him in a tie for 115th at the conclusion of round one, Thornberry bounced back with a 4-under 66 on Friday to make the cut. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native made four birdies over his first 11 holes in round two to move into red figures. After making his lone bogey of the round at No. 5, his 14th hole of the day, Thornberry was right on the cut line. At the par-4 sixth, his approach shot landed short of the green and 28 yards away from the hole. However, the pressure-packed pitch didn’t faze Thornberry, as he chipped in for birdie and created a roar from the Ole Miss fans that came out to support the Rebel. With three pars over the final three holes, Thornberry secured his spot for the weekend.

Beginning the third round on a hot Saturday morning, Thornberry started off on fire. He birdied five holes on the front nine, including three straight at Nos. 6-8, to shoot a 30 and vault up the leaderboard. Thornberry needed just 10 putts to get around the front nine, and he moved into the tournament’s top 10 as he made the turn. A birdie at the par-3 14th put him at 7-under (6-under for the day) and in a tie for sixth. Despite a bogey on No. 17, Thornberry ended up posting a 5-under 65 to tie his lowest round at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Last year, he shot 65 in the final round to place fourth in his PGA Tour debut.

On Sunday, a triple bogey at No. 12 prevented Thornberry from shooting an under-par final round. After making the big number on the difficult par 4, he recovered by chipping in for birdie on No. 13. Three holes later, he rolled in a 22-footer at the par-5 16th for another birdie. Closing out the tournament, Thornberry drew one last loud roar from the fans in attendance. On the tee at No. 18, he crushed a 304-yard drive right down the middle of the fairway. With 148 yards to the pin for his second shot, Thornberry nearly holed out for eagle. The approach ended six inches from the cup, setting up an easy birdie on his final hole of the tournament.

Thornberry will look to carry the momentum into next week’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, the first major of his career. The Rebel golfer qualified for the tournament on Monday, ensuring that he would play back-to-back weeks on the PGA Tour.

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