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Cantlay sets an early target after a long day at Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Patrick Cantlay completed his long day with a few of his greatest golf, working off three straight birdies to shut out a 5-under 67 and the lead Friday within the rain-delayed Memorial.

He arrived at Muirfield Village earlier than daybreak. He completed when it was time for supper. And apart from a few inevitable errors, he was strong within the 33 holes he confronted.

“We’re out there for such a long time today that you could fall asleep at the wheel a little bit,” mentioned Cantlay, who gained the Memorial two years in the past. “So being cognizant of that and checking in with yourself — are you as focused as you can be? — I think is the key.”

Cantlay was at 8-under 136 on the refurbished Muirfield Village, the place the tough is thicker and denser than traditional and the rain that washed out almost half of the opening spherical did not assist.

Scottie Scheffler recovered from three bogeys in his opening 4 holes to scratch out a 71 and was at 6-under 130 amongst those that accomplished the second spherical. They all had long days, having to complete many of the first spherical within the morning and 18 holes within the afternoon, with solely about half-hour in between.

Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm, each winners at Muirfield Village final 12 months in several tournaments held in consecutive weeks, had been amongst those that needed to return Saturday morning.

Rahm was tied for the lead at 8 beneath by 13 holes, making a 2-foot birdie putt earlier than darkness halted play. Morikawa was proper there with him till a triple bogey on the twelfth gap.

The match ought to be again on observe in time for the ultimate spherical Sunday.

Jordan Spieth had purpose to marvel if his long day would result in a quick week. He had a arduous time protecting his tee photographs in play, which means hacking out and making an attempt to avoid wasting par along with his wedges. He was 5 over for his opening spherical when he fired an 8-iron into 8 ft for birdie and a 76.

He adopted that with a 67 to achieve 1-under 143. That was greater than sufficient to make the reduce and to at least nonetheless be within the combine.

“I needed something to stop the bleeding this morning,” Spieth mentioned.

Spieth performed with Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau, and it did not lack for pleasure. Cantlay was enjoying nice. DeChambeau was bothered by a few spectators calling him, “Brooksy,” a reference to his spat with Brooks Koepka, who is not even at the Memorial.

Some spectators had been eliminated. DeChambeau laughed it off later by saying it was “flattering.”

DeChambeau additionally was at 143 with three double bogeys on his card. One of them got here in his second spherical on No. 1, when it took him 4 photographs to get down from 80 ft off the entrance of the inexperienced. He additionally hit his second shot to 4 ft for eagle on the par-5 fifth gap.

“All in all, it’s not my best,” DeChambeau mentioned. “But certainly worked hard to get it in and here for the weekend.”

Despite the disjointed nature of the match, one fixed as been the course. Several of the holes had been redone — some apparent, such because the par-5 fifth and fifteenth gap, some extra refined with greens being shifted — and the tough has been brutal as ever.

The greatest change has been the par 5s. Some of it’s due to the gentle situations, however gamers are usually not going for them in two as a lot as they as soon as did.

Rory McIlroy went for the inexperienced on No. 5, landed simply over the again into a bunker and did effectively to blast out to twenty ft.

“You would rather be 90 yards away hitting a nice wedge shot in there. You can get it way closer,” McIlroy mentioned after a pair of 72s. “So I think people are just realizing you’re probably more likely to make birdie just by laying up, which is a shame, because it’s sort of exciting to get to go for par 5s. And it’s sort of taken that a little bit out of play.”

If Cantlay’s lead had been to carry, it could be the very best rating to guide after 36 holes at the Memorial since 2012, uncommon solely as a result of rain results in softer greens, and the most effective on this planet thrive in these situations.

Cantlay wonders if the problem of the par 5s hasn’t modified the dynamics of scoring.

“But that’s just the way it is now and I’m sure if the fairways firm out a little bit you will be able to hit the ball a little further and maybe get to some of the par 5s,” he mentioned.

For now, he is joyful along with his rating. Cantlay hasn’t had a prime 10 since a tie for third at Pebble Beach, a stretch of seven tournaments. That’s his longest streak with out a prime 10 since he returned from a extreme again harm in 2017.

“Just fundamentals and getting my swing back to a place that I can start the ball where I’m looking all the time,” Cantlay mentioned. “I wasn’t too far off, just a little off. So golf’s like that sometimes.”

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