Ken Duke has played six consecutive weeks on the PGA TOUR. He's made 17 starts in the first 22 weeks of the 2012 season. That's a lot of time spent inside the ropes for any player, but especially one who's 43 years old.
"I feel good about taking a week off next week," Duke said. "That's what it's all about. I think that's kind of why I'm pretty free this week."
Despite the rugged playing schedule, Duke has played well all year. He has four top-10 finishes in those 17 starts and entered this week ranked 44th in FedExCup points. He ended last year by winning the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island but has yet to break through with his first PGA TOUR win.
Maybe that changes this weekend.
"It is great to be up here on the TOUR and be on the leaderboard," Duke said. "I'm just trying to do what I can do and I can't control everyone else."
Jeff Maggert and John Merrick are at the top, but 15 other golfers are within two shots of the lead.
Jeff Maggert talks about his love for Memphis after a first-round, 4-under 66 on Thursday.
After hitting onto the green, John Merrick would roll in a birdie putt on No. 13 on Thursday.
Rory McIlroy said his 2-under 68 on Thursday was the best he's played in quite a long time.
John Daly rolls in a long birdie putt on the 10th hole at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Thursday.
Jeff Overton said he feels healthy and it showed after a 3-under 67 on Thursday.