Four share lead at St. Jude Classic

A great blue heron flies away as golfers approach the ninth hole during the first round of the St Jude Classic golf tournament Thursday

A great blue heron flies away as golfers approach the ninth hole during the first round of the St Jude Classic golf tournament Thursday

Sydneysider Jones, who began his round on the 10th, couldn't rediscover the first-round radar with his approach shots, but played some exquisite chips and clutch putts around several greens to maintain his challenge. Schwartzel had a birdie on No. 2 (his 11th hole of the day), but he had his only bogey of the day on the par-3 eighth hole. He missed a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him sole possession of the lead.

He will tee it up in his third US Open on the back of a strong season, with four top-10 finishes and five top-25 finishes.

Phil Mickelson made a dramatic charge and grabbed a share of the lead following his fifth birdie of the day at No. 10, but he doused his momentum and his chances with a triple bogey at the par-4 12th. "You get a lot of kind of great memories driving in, and it just like, didn't feel like that long ago, and it was a year ago".

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Langer won the last two senior circuit events, both majors, and is trying to become the first player on the 50-and-over tour with wins in three straight starts since Fred Couples in 2010. "I didn't expect to be there at that moment", Mickelson said.

The 24-year-old's one-shot victory saw him follow in the footsteps of David Toms, who won the trophy in 2003 and 2004, after the American claimed his maiden PGA Tour title at this tournament last year.

He had four birdies and an eagle without a bogey, but sounded a cautious note when looking ahead.

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The players in or near the lead figure to have an added advantage this weekend, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees and strong wind gusts expected.

Schwartzel grabbed the outright lead by picking up a shot at the second and missed a putt from six feet to double his advantage at the next, before bogeying his penultimate hole. The Englishman joined a group of four at 5-under 139, which included 2012 victor Bernd Wiesberger. The Austrian is the highest-ranked player in the field at 29th. Perrine Delacour (62) of France and American Lindy Duncan (65) were one shot back.

Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, surged into contention with birdies on his first three holes. South Korea's Mi Hyang Lee (68) and Laura Gonzalez Escallon of Belgium (67) were at 14 under.

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Residents expressed concerns about their homes and livestock at a community meeting where the local fire chief spoke. It took crews a few hours to slow the flames and families were allowed to return to their homes by nightfall.

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