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Scottie Scheffler leading Memorial by 4 after so-so Saturday



Scottie Scheffler leading Memorial by 4 after so-so Saturday

DUBLIN, Ohio — Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 participant in golf, began the third spherical with a 3-shot lead on the Memorial, broke par on a troublesome day at Muirfield Village with a 1-under 71 and prolonged his result in 4 photographs. All of it appears like every thing went in response to plan.

Not even shut.

He hit one bunker shot over the inexperienced and right into a creek. His tee shot on the ninth gap went left, hit a tree and shot over a fence and out of bounds. He ended the day with a three-putt for bogey on the 18th gap.

The one factor that sounded regular was Scheffler shifting nearer to a different PGA Tour victory. He was at 10-under 206 and has the biggest 54-hole lead of his profession. Collin Morikawa (68) and Adam Hadwin of Canada (72) have been at 210.

Finally, Scheffler stated he was happy.

“Yeah, I imply, I performed good,” he stated. “Simply acquired a pair dangerous breaks and it may occur round this golf course. The golf course is actually difficult. You are not at all times going to get good breaks, you are not at all times going to get good lies, so yeah. I really feel like I performed stable immediately.”

Scheffler answered with a birdie after each of his penalty photographs, and Muirfield was robust sufficient that he by no means fell out of the lead, even after the triple bogey.

Morikawa will probably be within the last group with Scheffler, simply as he was on the Masters. He’s a previous champion at Muirfield Village, profitable the Workday Charity Open in 2020 when the course Jack Nicklaus constructed hosted consecutive tournaments through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am nonetheless going to need to exit and shoot a very good rating tomorrow,” Morikawa stated. “However this course bites. You would possibly have a look at a few of these holes as birdie alternatives, however you miss the golf green, you are going to attempt to save par.”

Scheffler can respect that.

Beginning with a 3-shot lead, he made two fast birdies and already was beginning to draw back till his second shot to the par-5 fifth strayed proper right into a bunker, leaving him 45 yards over one other bunker and throughout the inexperienced to the pin.

“Simply caught it just a little skinny,” he stated, and the ball went a good distance — over the inexperienced, over the tough and into the creek on the fly. He made an 8-foot putt simply to avoid wasting bogey, and with Hadwin holing a 30-foot eagle putt, the lead was all the way down to 2.

On the subsequent gap, Scheffler was in a fairway bunker and hit pitching wedge over the water to 7 toes in entrance of a pin on a crown, making birdie.

The true hassle got here on No. 9 when Scheffler pulled his tee shot and it struck a tree so arduous that it ricocheted straight left, over a fence and out of bounds. He reloaded and hit the subsequent shot into the correct tough, with a tall tree blocking his path to a again proper pin.

“Appeared like an pointless threat,” he stated of going beneath a smaller tree in entrance and over the massive one. He laid up into the primary reduce, chased a wedge again to fifteen toes and missed the putt.

That left him tied with Hadwin, however solely so long as it took Scheffler to hit an 8-iron to a again pin on the tenth gap for birdie, and he was on his manner. He additionally picked up a birdie on the scary par-3 twelfth over water, a shot made tough by the gusting wind, and his lead was again to five photographs with a birdie on the par-5 fifteenth.

“Did a superb job resetting and bouncing again,” Scheffler stated. “Had the great birdie on 10 and 12 and did a superb job sort of staying within the spherical immediately.”

Hadwin stayed in vary till he caught a wedge so fats it did not attain the inexperienced on the 14th. He pitched on to about 15 toes and three-putted for double bogey. The bogey on the 18th was his solely different mistake.

Defending champion Viktor Hovland additionally was lingering in vary till an atrocious again 9 that began with a shot within the water on the par-5 eleventh which led to bogey. He went lengthy on the twelfth for bogey, quick on the thirteenth for bogey and lengthy into the again bunker on the 14th for bogey.

Hovland then put his tee shot into the water on the par-3 sixteenth for a triple bogey, shot 42 on the again 9 and located himself 9 photographs out of the lead.

Rory McIlroy, who spent greater than 4 hours on a Zoom name for the PGA Tour Enterprises assembly with the Saudi backers of LIV Golf on Friday afternoon, had a 73 and was 8 photographs again.

Scheffler has gained the previous 4 occasions he has had the 54-hole lead.

“I will exit tomorrow and try to have a superb spherical of golf, preserve my head down and keep in my very own little world on the market,” Scheffler stated. “I am not going to actually take note of what anyone else is doing. I am simply going to try to do my greatest.”

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