By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Billy Horschel is extra involved with the way in which he’s taking part in than the scale of his lead within the Memorial. Either manner, he is in fine condition going into the ultimate spherical.
On a Muirfield Village course that’s getting more and more firmer, Horschel hasn’t made a bogey for the reason that tenth gap of his opening spherical. There wer efive gamers tied for the lead at one level. Horschel completed the day 5 pictures forward.
It was the second straight yr for a large 54-hole lead at the Memorial. Horschel at least get a likelihood to complete the job.
One yr after Jon Rahm constructed a six-shot lead — solely to be compelled to withdraw after the third spherical due to a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at — Horschel delivered a gem on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with a 7-under 65 for his largest 54-hole lead of his profession.
Horschel chipped in for birdie on his opening gap. Everything else was merely strong, with just one different birdie putt exterior the 10-foot vary.
He was at 13-under 203, 5 pictures away from Aaron Wise (69) and Cameron Smith (72).
“I simply go to the tee understanding I’m main the match. I do know I’ve acquired nevertheless many pictures I’ve forward,” Horschel stated. “I’m not going to be protecting, I’m not going to be overly aggressive. I’m going to play the way in which I’ve the final three days. We’re going to hit the golf pictures which might be required, and I do know if we try this it’s going to present me the perfect likelihood to be victorious come tomorrow.”
He will probably be going for his sixth particular person title and seventh PGA Tour victory.
Daniel Berger had a 67 and six pictures behind together with Jhonattan Vegas and former British Open champion Francesco Molinari, who hasn’t had a top-five end for the reason that 2019 Masters.
“I’m simply completely happy to be up there,” Molinari stated. “Billy is a actually good participant, however in golf you by no means know. On a course like this, it’s displaying at present that for those who hit the fairways you get loads of possibilities and you possibly can shoot 6-, 7-under par. If you begin lacking fairways it’s a entire totally different problem. I feel there’s going to be an out of doors likelihood, nevertheless it’s simply good to be type of up there.”
Smith began with a one-shot lead and bumped into hassle instantly, with bogeys from the bunker on the primary two holes. He performed alongside Denny McCarthy, who on three events within the first hour was placing for birdie from nearer than the place Smith was placing for par.
It was a wrestle for Smith to get again to even for the day, however by then, Horschel was beginning to draw back from everyone.
He took the lead with a wedge to three toes for birdie on the par-5 seventh, and then stuffed his tee shot to a entrance pin inside 6 toes on the par-3 eighth. He made birdie on all of the par 5s. The 4 occasions he missed the inexperienced, he chipped in on No. 1 for birdie and made powerful saves from bunkers and a delicate pitch behind the twelfth inexperienced that ran shortly away from him.
Smith saved himself one shot at the tip. The greens are agency sufficient that something within the tough makes it exhausting to cease close to the outlet. Smith’s shot from deep grass proper of the 18th fairway bounded to the again of the inexperienced with a entrance pin. The Aussie went with a flop store that trickled close to the outlet and settled 3 toes away for par.
“It was a good one to get par out of,” Smith stated. “There was numerous not-so-good stuff on the market at present, and simply caught in there. Managed to have a couple of birdies on that again 9. Just good to get away with stage par and hold myself within the match. I feel particularly at present it may have gotten away from me a little bit.”
Rory McIlroy began the third spherical simply three pictures out of the lead, however as everybody else round him was piling up birdies, McIlroy was caught on pars. He did not make his first birdie till the eleventh gap and shot 73 to fall 4 pictures behind.
Defending champion Patrick Cantlay started his spherical by pulling his tee shot into a stream and making double bogey. He atoned for that with a pair of eagles, completed with three straight par putts from exterior 8 toes and shot 69. He was seven beind.
That would seem like too far again — the most important comeback at the Memorial is 5 pictures, most just lately 15 years in the past by Okay.J. Choi. Then once more, gamers have rallied from seven pictures behind to win the final two weeks by Sam Burns at Colonial and by Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
“I would not be stunned if it is any totally different,” Wise stated. “Anything is feasible.”
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