2017 Memorial Tournament – R3 Notes

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2017 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

(The 29th of 43 events in the PGA TOUR Season)                                

 

Dublin, Ohio                             June 1-4, 2017                                                             FedExCup Points: 500

Muirfield Village Golf Club        Par/Yardage: 36-36—72/7,392                       Purse: $8,700,000 ($1,566,000)

 

Third-Round Notes – Saturday, June 3, 2017

Weather: Mostly sunny skies. Wind WNW at 5-10 mph, with a high temperature of 84.

 

Third-Round Leaderboard

Daniel Summerhays                   66-69-68—203 (-13)

Matt Kuchar                              69-70-67—206 (-10)

Jason Dufner                            65-65-77—207 (-9)

Justin Thomas                           67-71-69—207 (-9)

Bubba Watson                          71-68-68—207 (-9)

 

Daniel Summerhays

Making his seventh start at the Memorial Tournament, Daniel Summerhays made five birdies against just one bogey to post a 4-under 68 and take a three-stroke lead at 13-under 203. His best finish at Muirfield Village Golf Club is a T4 in 2012.

 

This marks the fourth occasion on which Summerhays has held a lead/co-lead after 54 holes on the PGA TOUR, but he has never been able to convert for the win. Most recently, he was T1 after the third round of the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship, before finishing T2.

 

Summerhays, a 33-year-old Utah native, is seeking his first PGA TOUR victory in his 185th start this week. Should he go on to victory, he would become the eighth player to make the Memorial Tournament his first PGA TOUR title and the fourth consecutive player to do so. His best finishes on TOUR are a pair of T2s; 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship and 2014 Valero Texas Open.

 

As an amateur on the Web.com Tour, Summerhays won the 2007 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational at the Ohio State University’s Scarlett course.

 

Since joining the PGA TOUR in 2011, he has finished inside the top 100 in FedExCup standings each season, with the exception of his rookie year.

 

In 18 starts this season, Summerhays’ lone top-25 finish is a T16 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

 

Before embarking on life as a golf professional, Summerhays spent two years on a mission for the Morman church in Chile and became fluent in Spanish.

 

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 19

times since the event’s 1976 inception, most recently William McGirt last year. Twice the tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to weather. In 1990, the 2017 Memorial Tournament Honoree 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.

 

Ten of 28 third-round leaders/co-leaders have managed to convert for the win this season on the PGA TOUR, most Kevin Chappell at the Valero Texas Open.

 

 

 

Matt Kuchar

2014 Memorial Tournament champion Matt Kuchar made seven straight pars to start his round before carding six birdies against just one bogey to post a 5-under 67 and get to 10-under 206.

 

Kuchar has six top-10s in 11 previous appearances and holds the second-best scoring average at this event (70.24). Hideki Matsuyama was the only player with a sub-70 scoring average in the event heading into the week (69.80).

 

Kuchar is in search of his eighth career PGA TOUR win and first since the 2014 RBC Heritage.

 

With a win on Sunday, Kuchar would become the seventh multiple winner of the Memorial Tournament, joining Tournament Host Jacks Nicklaus (1977, 1984), Tom Watson (1979, 1996), Hale Irwin (1983, 1985), Greg Norman (1990, 1995), Kenny Perry (1991, 2003) and Tiger Woods (1999-2001, 2009, 2012).

 

Jason Dufner

Following back-to-back scores of 7-under 65 in rounds one and two, Cleveland native Jason Dufner struggled early in round three, making four straight bogeys on Nos. 2-5. He would double bogey the par-5 11th and take additional bogeys at Nos. 16 and 18 to end up with a 5-over 77.

 

Dufner, who led after rounds one and two, is seeking his fifth PGA TOUR victory (2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, 2012 AT&T Byron Nelson, 2013 PGA Championship and 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge).

 

Dufner is making his sixth appearance at the Memorial Tournament, where his best showing is T19 in 2014 (T33/2016, T24/2015, T19/2014, MC/2010, MC/2009). In 2015, Dufner opened with rounds of 66-67 to sit one stroke back of eventual winner Lingmerth. Weekend scores of 74-75 resulted in a T24.

 

Dufner comes into the week at No. 56 in the FedExCup standings. He has finished in the top-30 and reached the TOUR Championship five of the last eight years.

 

Bubba Watson

Making his 11th start in the Memorial Tournament, Bubba Watson got off to a slow start in round three, posting a 2-over 38 on his front nine. After making the turn, he played Nos. 10-15 in six-under par; birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-par-birdie. He would finish in style with another birdie at No. 18 to post a second straight 4-under 68 and get to 9-under 207. He will begin the final round Sunday XX strokes back.

 

For the second straight day, Watson’s rounds have been the tale of two nines.

R2: 37-31 (68)

R3: 38-30 (68)

 

In 10 previous starts at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Watson’s lone top-10 finish is solo-third in 2014.

 

Watson is in search of his 10th career PGA TOUR win and first since the 2016 Genesis Open.

 

Watson is making his 12th start of the season this week, where he has collected two top-10 finishes (World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play/T9 and Zurich Classic of New Orleans/T5 (two-man team event).

 

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas, a three-time winner this season and No. 3 in the FedExCup standings, made four birdies and one bogey to post a 69 and get to 9-under 207.

 

Thomas is the winner of the 2015 and 2016 CIMB Classic, 2017 SBS Tournament of Champions and 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii. In addition to the three wins this season, he collected top-five finishes at at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship (T5) and Zurich Classic of New Orleans (T5/two-man team event).

 

After finishing T37 in his 2014 tournament debut, Thomas missed the cut at Muirfield Village in 2015 and 2016.

 

Thomas has improved off the tee with each round. He has hit 8, 9 and 10 of 14 fairways in rounds one through three, respectively. He improved from just eight of 18 greens in regulation in round two with 14 of 18 in round three.

 

Additional Player Notes

The round of the day belonged to James Hahn who reeled off five consecutive birdies on two occasions (Nos. 3-7 and 11-15). Along with three bogeys (Nos. 2, 16 and 17), he posted a 7-under 65 to get to 5-under 211 and eight strokes back.

 

Stewart Cink’s 4-under 68 in round three marked his 54th round of par-or-better. Another such round Sunday would put him in a tie with two-time Memorial Tournament winner Kenny Perry, at 55. The record belongs to Jay Haas, who has 68 rounds of par or better at this event.

 

Defending champion William McGirt posted a 2-under 70 and is 3-under 213 after three rounds. The only Memorial Tournament champion to successfully defended at Muirfield Village was Tiger Woods, who won the event five times, including three straight years, from 1999-2001.

 

Columbus resident Jason Day rebounded from opening rounds of 75-71 with a 5-under 67 in round three. He offset two bogeys with an eagle (par-5 seventh) and five birdies, including one at the 18th hole. Day will begin the final round at 3-under 213 and 10 strokes back.

 

Miscellaneous Notes

Following his third consecutive even-par 70 on Saturday, Phil Mickelson announced to media that he will likely not be competing in the U.S. Open in two weeks, due to a time conflict with the high school graduation of his daughter, Amanda. The following statement was issued by Mike Davis with the USGA: “Phil called on Saturday to let me know that, because of the timing of his daughter’s high school graduation, he would likely not be able to play in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. We applaud and appreciate the fact that he is being pro-active so that the USGA can make any appropriate adjustments should he not be able to play. We certainly understand and support that Phil’s family commitments are of paramount importance, and hope that the timing will work in his favor.”

 

The 17-stroke difference between Jason Dufner’s 14-under lead after 36-holes at the Memorial Tournament and the 36-hole cutline at 3-over is a tournament record. There was a 16-stroke difference in the inaugural event in 1976.

 

The last time there was a 17-stroke differential in a 36-hole cut on the PGA TOUR was at the 2005 RBC Heritage. This is only events with a 36-hole cut (official stroke play events).

 

Largest Stroke Differential Between First & Last After 36-Hole Cut

PGA TOUR (Since 1980)

Year-Event

Stroke Differential

 
2017 the Memorial Tournament

17

 
2005 RBC Heritage

17

 
2006 BellSouth Classic

16

 
2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational

16

 
2015 Masters Tournament

16

 
2017 Shell Houston Open

16

 

 

Nine past champions of the Memorial Tournament began this week. Here’s a look at how they stand after 54 holes: William McGirt (T27/2016), David Lingmerth (T11/2015), Hideki Matsuyama (T65/2014), Matt Kuchar (2nd /2013), Steve Stricker (T14/2011), K.J. Choi (T71/2007), Carl Pettersson (MC/2006), Jim Furyk (MC/2002) and Vijay Singh (MC/1997).

 

Bogey-Free rounds:

R1: Lucas Glover (67), Matt Kuchar (69).

R2: Jason Dufner (65), Rickie Fowler (66).

R3: Jim Herman (67)

 

Scoring averages at the par-72 Muirfield Village Golf Club

Front 9              Back 9              Total                 Cumulative

R1:       36.395              36.924              73.319              —

R2:       36.084              36.235              72.319              72.819

R3:       35.447              36.105              71.553              72.397

 

Si Woo Kim withdrew during round three after hurting his ankle attempting to execute a bunker shot on the 17th hole.

 

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