Jeff Maggert and John Merrick shot 4-under 66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the St. Jude Classic, leaving U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy two strokes back.
Maggert took advantage of teeing off in the first group with calm conditions for the first seven holes, and finished with four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.
Merrick matched his best round of the year with six birdies and two bogeys, the last on No. 18 when his tee shot went into the water to drop him back into a tie for the lead.
S.Y. Noh, Arjun Atwal, Jeff Overton, J.J. Henry and Troy Kelly were a stroke back.
McIlroy, preparing for his U.S. Open title defense next week at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, matched Padraig Harrington, Y.E. Yang and John Daly at 68.
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