June 4 2011
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Matt Kuchar knew he had played some good golf on Saturday. He just wasn't happy with the way he finished off that round of 68.
After all, Kuchar birdied seven of his first 10 holes at Muirfield Village and he looked like he was primed to take it really low. But he hit the wall on the back nine and didn't make another -- and to make matters worse, Kuchar bogeyed two of his last four holes.
So Kuchar will start the final round four strokes off the pace set by Steve Stricker, who also had a difficult finish with back-to-back bogeys at the 15th and 16th holes. Kuchar will tee off in the penultimate group with Brandt Jobe, who is also tied for third at 8 under.
"A little disheartening," Kuchar said. "I was playing some great golf and finally got a chance to look at the leaderboard. Stricker was matching me shot for shot out there. I felt like I really had it going and a little disappointing to drop a couple coming in, but it's a tough golf course. Right now it's playing firm and fast, and just keeping the ball on the greens is a challenge."
Kuchar has finished 10th or better in his last three Memorial appearances but Saturday was the first time he had seen the inside of the interview room. He knows if he wants to get there again on Sunday, he'll have to guard against being overly aggressive like he was on the par-5 16th in the third round.
"Kind of had my maximum distance to get to the front of the green," Kuchar recalled. "It was into the wind off an upslope, and I thought Stricker was far enough ahead of me, ... this is a chance to be aggressive and try to get something.
"But that front pin is so difficult. If you miss the green at all, you just don't really stand a chance at getting that ball up and down. It took me four to get it in the hole from missing the green. It's just a terrible place to be anywhere. You miss the green on any side on that pin, and you just can't get up and down.
"So that was kind of a little bit of a mistake and a bummer."