Third-Round Notes – Saturday, June 4, 2016 - Nicklaus Companies

Third-Round Notes – Saturday, June 4, 2016

Weather: Cloudy skies and periods of light rain with a high in the mid-70s. Wind S/SE at 6-12 mph. Play was suspended at 5:02 p.m. due to lightning in the area with eight players left on the course. Play resumed at 7:15 p.m. and the third round was completed at 8:04 p.m.
This marks the 17th event of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season to experience a delay/suspension, including six out of the last seven weeks.

The fourth and final round will utilize a two-tee start due to anticipated inclement weather Sunday afternoon. Tee times will begin at 8:30 a.m. in threesomes off split tees with the leaders teeing off No. 1 at 10:30 a.m. Golf Channel will record from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and noon-3:30 p.m. for CBS. Published broadcast times remain unchanged.

Third-Round Leaderboard
William McGirt              70-68-64—202 (-14)
Gary Woodland             68-65-69—202 (-14)
Matt Kuchar                  66-66-70—202 (-14)
Adam Hadwin               70-66-67—203 (-13)
Dustin Johnson             64-71-68—203 (-13)
Jon Curran                   68-67-68—203 (-13)
Emiliano Grillo              67-66-70—203 (-13)
Matt Kuchar is exactly one year older than William McGirt. Both were born June 21 – Kuchar in 1978 and McGirt in 1979. They will be in the final grouping in the final round with Gary Woodland who celebrated his 32nd birthday two weeks ago.

William McGirt
William McGirt got off to a quick start posting birdie, par, birdie, birdie, eagle in his first five holes to reach 11- under before adding four additional birdies and a lone bogey (No. 16) on the back nine for 8-under 64.
This is the second time McGirt has held the 54-hole lead/co-lead. After leading through three rounds at the 2014 Northern Trust Open he eventually finished T6.
McGirt is seeking to join three of the last six winners, David Lingmerth (2015), Hideki Matsuyama (2014), and Justin Rose (2010), who have made the Memorial Tournament their maiden victory on the PGA TOUR. Before Rose, Tom Lehman (1994) was the last player to make the Memorial Tournament his first PGA TOUR victory.
Should McGirt win on Sunday, he would claim his first PGA TOUR title in his 165th start at age 36 years, 11 months and 15 days.
In three previous appearances at the Memorial Tournament McGirt, despite not posting a round below 70, has advanced to the weekend twice (T37/2013, MC/2014, T40/2015).
This is McGirt’s 18th start this season with a T2 at the Sanderson Farms Championship his best result, one of three career runner-up finishes. His other two runner-up results came in back-to-back years at the RBC Canadian Open in 2012 and 2013. He has yet to win on TOUR.
McGirt owns four top-10 finishes this season, a season-best which matches the four top-10s he recorded in 2014. He has 14 career top-10s on TOUR.

Gary Woodland
Making his fifth start in the Memorial Tournament, Gary Woodland followed 68-65 in the first two rounds with 69 to be one of eight players with three rounds in the 60s this week. Woodland has suffered just one bogey, at the par-5 11th hole during the second round, in the first three rounds.
This represents the fourth time Woodland has held a share of the 54-hole lead. He has finished runner-up twice and T10 at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open when he held his most recent 54-hole lead.
Woodland finished sixth in his first start in the Memorial Tournament in 2011.
Woodland is in search of his third career PGA TOUR win. He previously won the 2011 Valspar Championship and 2013 Barracuda Championship (Modified Stableford format). Should the win eventuate for Woodland on Sunday it would be his third title in his 163rd start at the age of 32 years and 15 days.
Woodland is making his 15th start of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season this week, with a T12 at the AT&T Byron Nelson two weeks ago his best finish.

Matt Kuchar
2013 Memorial Tournament champion Matt Kuchar opened with back-to-back, 6-under 66s and added a 2- under 70 in the third round when he bogeyed the final hole to lose the outright lead.
Kuchar has five previous 54-hole leads/co-leads on TOUR and has carried two of them on to victory (2009 Turning Stone Championship, 2013 Memorial Tournament). His most recent 54-hole lead/co-lead was at the 2014 Shell Houston Open where he finished second.
With a win on Sunday, Kuchar would secure his eighth TOUR win in his 366th start at age 37 years, 11 months and 15 days.
Kuchar is looking to join Tom Watson (1979, 1996), Greg Norman (1990, 1995), Hale Irwin (1983, 1985) and Jack Nicklaus (1977, 1984) as players with two wins at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Only Tiger Woods (5) and Kenny Perry (3) have won more times at Muirfield Village.
Kuchar holds the tournament record for most consecutive top-10 finishes: 2008 (T10), 2009 (T5), 2010 (T8), 2011 (T2), 2013 (won).
In his last three starts on TOUR, Kuchar has finished in the top six, with a T3 (THE PLAYERS Championship), 3rd (AT&T Byron Nelson) and T6 (DEAN & DELUCA Invitational).
Kuchar, a seven-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is in search of his first win since the 2014 RBC Heritage.
Through 54 holes, Kuchar has hit 29 of 42 fairways in regulation and 38 of 54 greens. He has taken 26-27-27 putts in each round respectively.

Third-Round Lead Notes
The lowest 54-hole score at the Memorial Tournament is 18-under 198, held by Scott Hoch in 1987. Hoch shot a final- round 78 to finish T3 that year.
The leader/co-leader of the Memorial Tournament going into what would be the final round has gone on to win 18 times since the event’s 1976 inception, most recently Matt Kuchar in 2013. Twice the tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to weather. In 1990, Greg Norman led after 54 holes and was declared the winner when the final round was cancelled. Vijay Singh won in 54 holes in 1997 after being three strokes back through 36 holes.
Eleven of 27 third-round leaders/co-leaders have managed to convert for the win this year on the PGA TOUR. Jordan Spieth most recently accomplished the feat at last week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.

Adam Hadwin
Although Adam Hadwin is seeking his first PGA TOUR victory, he has claimed multiple wins on the Tour (2) and the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada (2). His two Tour wins came in 2014 (Chile Classic, Chiquita Classic).
With rounds of 72-68-71-78, Hadwin finished T57 at the Memorial Tournament last year, his only previous start in the event.
Hadwin may have an affinity for Jack Nicklaus-designed courses. He shot 64 earlier this season on the Nicklaus Tournament Course in the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge. While paired with eventual winner Jason Dufner in the final round, Hadwin posted even-par 72 to finish T6 at 20-under, his lone top-10 finish this season.

Dustin Johnson
First-round leader Dustin Johnson has five top-10s this season and is seeking a win to continue an impressive streak. Nine-time PGA TOUR winner Johnson has at least one PGA TOUR victory in eight consecutive seasons (2008-current), the current longest streak on TOUR.
Johnson is making his ninth consecutive start at the Memorial Tournament where his best finish is a lone top-10 – in 2011 he finished fourth. He has only missed one cut (2013).

Jon Curran
Curran joins Emiliano Grillo and Soren Kjeldsen as players in the top-10 after 54 holes who are making their first appearance at the Memorial Tournament. Curran owns two top-10s this season (4/RSM Classic, T9/Valero Texas Open).
Curran is making his 55th career PGA TOUR start this week. His best result on TOUR is a runner-up finish at the 2015 Puerto Rico Open where he was part of a five-man playoff with Alex Cejka the eventual winner.

Emiliano Grillo
PGA TOUR rookie Emiliano Grillo made seven birdies in each of the first two rounds. He had posted five birdies when the third round was suspended and was tied for the lead at 15-under with two holes remaining. When play resumed, a double-bogey at No. 17 dropped him into a tie for fourth. This is Grillo’s first appearance at the Memorial Tournament.
Grillo claimed his first TOUR victory in his first start of the season at the Safeway Open via sudden death over Kevin Na. Grillo was T4 and two strokes back of Brendan Steele entering the final round before going on to win. In the 14 TOUR starts that have ensued leading up to this week, he has not been able to crack the top 10.
Grillo won the 2015 Tour Championship. He has also claimed victory on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica.
In his last three starts before this week, Grillo finished T61 at the Wells Fargo Championship, missed the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship and is coming off a T55 finish at last week’s DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.

Soren Kjeldsen
Soren Kjeldsen, making his first appearance at the Memorial Tournament, posted his career low round on the PGA TOUR with 8-under 64 in the third round, his 99th career round on TOUR. The 41-year-old Dane had previously posted four rounds of 66 on the PGA TOUR, all coming in World Golf Championships events.
Kjeldsen’s total of 204 (-12) is his career low on the PGA TOUR. In 2009, he posted 205 (-11) at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, eventually finishing T7.
Kjeldsen was T7 at the Masters Tournament earlier this year, his best finish in six previous starts on the PGA TOUR this season. The week after the Masters he returned to Europe and finished T4 at the Real Club Valderama Open de Espana. A T6 at the 2009 PGA Championship is his career-best result on TOUR.
A four-time winner on the European Tour, most recently at the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Kjeldsen is No. 42 in the Official World Golf Ranking and seeks to represent Denmark at the Olympic Games in Brazil later this year.

Jason Day
Despite an early bogey (No.2) and a double-bogey at the final hole, World No. 1 Jason Day worked his way back into contention with a 4-under 68 in the third round to lie at 11-under.
Day is making his eighth start at the Memorial Tournament where his best finish is a T27 in 2009. He missed the cut in 2015.
With 66 Official World Golf Ranking points available to the winner of the Memorial Tournament this week, Day is secure in the No. 1 position no matter the results of Jordan Spieth (No. 2), Rory McIlroy (No. 3) and Bubba Watson (No. 4).

Additional Player Notes
Robert Streb posted a bogey-free 8-under 64, including a back-nine 30 (-6), to move from T53 to T11. It marks Streb’s low round in his third appearance at the Memorial Tournament and his low round this season. The last time Streb posted a lower round was the first round of the 2015 Sony Open in Hawaii, a career-low 63. Streb also posted 63 in the final round to win the 2014 RSM Classic.
Streb (64), J.B. Holmes (67) and Scott Brown (69) each posted 6-under 30 on the back nine in the third round. No player has recorded a sub-30 back nine at Muirfield Village since Bobby Wadkins shot 29 in 1977.
At 10-under, Phil Mickelson will head into the final round four strokes back. In 15 previous Memorial Tournament starts, Mickelson collected top-10 finishes in 2002 (T9), 2006 (T4) and 2010 (T5). Of the events on TOUR in which Mickelson has competed more than 10 times, the U.S. Open (25), the BMW Championship (18), the Memorial (15), The Barclays (14), Wells Fargo Championship (13), Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (12) and WGC-Dell Match Play (12) are the only ones to have never surrendered him victory.
Bryson DeChambeau was hovering around the cut line in Friday’s second round before finishing with four birdies in his last five holes to comfortably advance to the weekend at 5-under. With his third-round 69 he lies 8- under. After finishing T4 in his first start as a professional at this year’s RBC Heritage, DeChambeau missed the cut in his next four events before the Memorial Tournament. As a Special Temporary Member, DeChambeau currently owns 123 FedExCup points and $259,600 on the money list. He must win or finish 125th or better on either the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season money list or FedExCup standings to earn full membership. As a guide, the 125th position last season was $747,899 or 458 FedExCup points.
A total of 30 players in the weekend field at the Memorial Tournament are scheduled to compete on Monday at two nearby venues in Sectional Qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Open Championship. Four players will tee it up at Springfield Country Club, while 26 players, including William McGirt and Gary Woodland, will seek a spot in the U.S. Open field at the Wedgewood Golf & Country Club/Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club.
World No. 2 Jordan Spieth began the third round with two birdies in his first for holes to reach 8-under. Five bogeys and one additional birdie over the last 13 holes resulted in a 2-over 74. Spieth, who lies 4-under, required 30 putts while hitting 10 of 18 greens in regulation.
At 7-under, defending champion David Lingmerth will head into the final round seven strokes back. The last champion to successfully defend a title at the Memorial Tournament was Tiger Woods, who won consecutively from 1999-2001.
Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson required just 25 putts for the second consecutive day. Saturday’s 6-under 66 included an eagle 2 at the par-4 ninth hole when he holed a 145-yard 9-iron from the fairway. Simpson posted T3 at last week’s DEAN &DELUCA Invitational, his best finish on TOUR since a T2 the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship.
After making the 36-hole cut on the number, Germany’s Alex Cejka gave his putter to 12-year-old local boy Matthew McCrae. With a new putter in the bag for the third round Cejka posted six birdies. He was on his way to posting his low round in eight starts at Muirfield Village before a final-hole double-bogey contributed to a 4- under 68. Cejka’s low round at Muirfield Village remains the 67 posted in the second round in 2010.
Seven past champions of the Memorial Tournament: David Lingmerth (2015/T35), Hideki Matsuyama (2014/MC), Matt Kuchar (2013/T1), K.J. Choi (2007/T16), Carl Pettersson (2006/MC), Ernie Els (2004/MC), Jim Furyk (2002/T51).

Miscellaneous Notes
Bogey-Free rounds:
R1: Russell Henley (68), Matt Kuchar (66), Scott Pinckney (68), Kyle Reifers (71) and Gary Woodland (68).
R2: Hiroshi Iwata (67)
R3: Robert Streb (64), Webb Simpson (66), K.J. Choi (69), Gary Woodland (69).

Scoring averages at the par-72 Muirfield Village Golf Club
Front 9             Back 9              Total                Cumulative
R1:       34.725              35.959              70.683              —
R2:       35.050              35.863              70.913              70.798
R3:       35.120              35.187              70.307              70.681
The most difficult hole in round three was the par-4 18th, playing to an average of 4.347. The easiest was the par-5 seventh, with an average of 4.493.

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