Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in contention at Memorial

Duo chasing Bryson DeChambeau at Muirfield Village after impressive third rounds

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland crosses a bridge to the 17th green during the third round of the Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland crosses a bridge to the 17th green during the third round of the Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both moved themselves into contention on Saturday at the Memorial Tournament where Bryson DeChambeau leads the way with one round to go at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event.

McIlroy hit some hot form early in the morning as he carded a round of 64 to shoot up the leaderboard to eight under.

After making the cut right on the mark McIlroy started the day at level par and 10 shots off the lead but, by the end of Saturday’s play, he had moved himself to within six of the lead, one behind Woods who carded a round of 68 which was spoiled somewhat by a three-putt bogey on the last.

McIlroy will also rue some missed opportunities on the greens with three birdie putts from inside nine feet slipping past during the course of his round which was made up of six birdies and an eagle.

The 29-year-old started his move early with birdies at the second and third before he holed out from a greenside bunker at the Par 5 fifth for an eagle.

Another birdie at the seventh moved him to five under for the day but he would go on to miss a birdie putt from five feet at the ninth which would have seen him go out in just 30 shots.

A run of birdies through the 11th, 12th and 13th conjured thoughts of a potential course record but he failed to continue his run with missed birdie putts from eight feet and seven feet respectively at the 14th and 15th.

McIlroy’s putting has been his Achilles heel throughout the week and, despite shooting a bogey-free 64, it still stunted him on Saturday.

Woods also struggled a little on the greens after making a quick start himself. The 14-time Major winner flew out of the blocks with an eagle at the fifth which was followed up by three more birdies in the next four holes to move himself into a tie for the lead.

However, it started to unravel a little on the back nine as he failed to birdie the Par 5 11th aand then missed a birdie putt of just three and a half feet at the 14th.

That seemed to shake even the confidence of the man who for so many years appeared completely bulletproof as he would go on to three-putt the Par 3 16th for a bogey, giving back the shot he had just picked up at the Par 5 15th after an excellent recovery from a hooked drive.

And another short missed putt was to follow – this one coming on the final green as he three-putted for the second time in three holes to drop another shot and sign for a 68 which could have been so much better. As it is Woods goes into the final round at nine under par and five behind the lead as he searches for a first victory since 2013 and an 80th PGA Tour title in his career.

“That’s probably the highest score I could have possibly shot today,” Woods said. “I played really, really well. I played beautifully, actually. Had total control of what I was doing out there and just didn’t finish it off.

Woods’ putter let him down on the back nine on Saturday. Photo: David Dermer/AP Photo
Woods’ putter let him down on the back nine on Saturday. Photo: David Dermer/AP Photo

“I was at 11 under par and I had wasted a bunch of shots the last two days, and I was 4 over par in the first round. So you do the math.”

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry looks set to head for US Open qualifying at a course he will play blind on Monday after he only managed a 73 on Saturday in Ohio to go into the final round tied for 64th at one under par.

The Offalyman needed a lofty finish this week to propel himself into the top-60 in the world rankings and therefore claim a spot at Shinnecock Hills in two weeks but he now looks too far back to do so after another frustrating round which was pockmarked by three bogeys and an ugly double at the Par 3 12th.

The 2015 Bridgestone Invitational winner will now have to attempt to qualify on Monday at a course in Ohio he has never played before after opting to play in Jack Nicklaus’ tournament this week rather than the Italian Open which would have allowed him to tee it up in qualifying at Woburn in England.

For DeChambeau it was a case of route 66 as he goes in search of his second PGA Tour title.

The American will take a one shot lead into the final round over the trio of Patrick Cantlay, Kyle Stanley and Joaquin Niemann after his finish of four birdies in the last six holes put him out in front on his own.

Memorial Tournament third round scores

202 Bryson DeChambeau 69 67 66
203 Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 65 68 70, Kyle Stanley 67 66 70, Patrick Cantlay 68 69 66
204 Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 68 67 69
206 Justin Rose (Eng) 71 66 69
207 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 65 71 71, J.B. Holmes 70 66 71, Tiger Woods 72 67 68, Whee Kim (Kor) 73 67 67
208 Adam Scott (Aus) 72 66 70, David Lingmerth (Swe) 69 73 66, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 71 67 70, Tom Hoge 71 67 70, Keegan Bradley 68 70 70, Rory McIlroy (Nlrl) 74 70 64, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 71 68 69, Julian Suri 71 67 70, Wesley Bryan 68 68 72, Ryan Moore 71 69 68
209 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 72 69 68, Peter Uihlein 69 70 70, Justin Thomas 72 69 68, Patrick Rodgers 68 73 68, Rickie Fowler 72 69 68, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 71 66 72, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 71 69 69
210 Jason Day (Aus) 68 68 74, Nick Watney 71 69 70, Chris Kirk 75 69 66, Branden Grace (Rsa) 69 71 70, Phil Mickelson 74 66 70, Dustin Johnson 72 66 72, Martin Laird (Sco) 72 66 72, Ryan Armour 68 70 72, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 75 67 68
211 Luke List 71 67 73, Beau Hossler 66 71 74, Brian Gay 69 71 71, Matt Kuchar 71 68 72, Kelly Kraft 73 68 70, Alex Cejka (Ger) 69 70 72, Tony Finau 71 68 72, Bill Haas 70 69 72, Marc Leishman (Aus) 74 70 67
212 Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 73 66 73, Russell Henley 71 73 68, Andrew Landry 71 73 68, Gary Woodland 69 68 75, Russell Knox (Sco) 74 69 69, Patrick Reed 71 68 73
213 Grayson Murray 67 72 74, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 65 75 73, Lucas Glover 67 74 72, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 70 69 74, John Huh 75 69 69, Jamie Lovemark 67 73 73
214 Vijay Singh (Fij) 75 66 73, Brian Stuard 72 70 72, Chesson Hadley 73 70 71, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 73 71 70, Kevin Streelman 74 68 72, Charles Howell III 73 70 71
215 Ollie Schniederjans 73 69 73, Ted Potter, Jr. 72 70 73, Sung Kang (Kor) 74 67 74, Shane Lowry (Irl) 73 69 73, Bubba Watson 71 67 77, Brice Garnett 74 68 73
216 Pat Perez 72 70 74, Zach Johnson 75 69 72, Andrew Dorn 69 74 73, Kevin Tway 75 67 74
217 John Senden (Aus) 73 69 75, Yuta Ikeda (Jpn) 76 68 73, Patton Kizzire 72 72 73, Adam Hadwin (Can) 74 70 73, Kevin Kisner 70 74 73
218 Rod Pampling (Aus) 73 70 75
223 Robert Streb 71 72 80
225 Sam Burns 73 71 81

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