June 2 2012
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rory Sabbatini, who has missed the cut in five of his last seven starts, shot his second-straight 69 and owns sole possession of the lead at the midway point of the Memorial Tournament.
Sabbatini, who hasn't has a top-10 since the season-opening, winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions, persevered on a trying day that saw the morning wave endure a two-hour rain delay. The rain ended in the afternoon but cooler temperatures ushered in winds that gusted to 30 mph to add to the challenge of an already difficult Muirfield Village layout.
Sabbatini wasn't the only one on the move in the afternoon, either. Four-time Memorial champion Tiger Woods matched the South African's 69 and was among three players tied at 5 under. Also in that group are Spencer Levin and first-round leader Scott Stallings.
"It feels good," Sabbatini said. "Obviously it's been a trying year, and obviously it's great to see some return on the effort I've been putting in. So that feels fantastic. The course out there today was just -- it was a tough one. It was hard-fought the whole way. There was nothing easy out there. It played tough and showed its teeth pretty well."
There are 21 players within four strokes of Sabbatini's lead. Jack Nicklaus' signature creation won't be getting any easier, either, so the weekend should be a battle for survival.
"Just be patient, same thing," said Woods, who has shot 22 of his last 23 rounds at par or better. "The guys aren't going to go out there and shoot a bunch of low rounds out here. This golf course is hard. The pin locations for tomorrow are going to be difficult. So it's going to be another good test."
The cut came at 3 over and eliminated some big names -- not the least of which was world No. 2 Rory McIlroy. The young Northern Irishman, who will defend his U.S. Open title in 10 days at the Olympic Club, missed the cut for the third straight event.
Also leaving early were Masters champion Bubba Watson and reigning PGA champ Keegan Bradley. Other 2012 winners making early exits were Bill Haas, Kyle Stanley and carl Pettersson.
8:38 p.m. – Columbus native Kyle Riefers, playing in the final group of a long day, bogeyed the 18th hole and fell back to 3 under for the tournament. Reifers, who had briefly been tied for the last, shot 70 in the second round.
7:56 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini had a chance to open up a two-stroke advantage but he missed a 5-footer for birdie at the 18th hole. Even so, he ended up with his second consecutive 60 to take sole possession of the lead at 6 under.
7:35 p.m. – Tiger Woods two-putted for par from 44 feet at the 18th hole to cap a consistent round of 69 that left him tied for second and one shot off the lead held by Rory Sabbatini. He hit 11 fairways and 14 greens in regulation on Friday and used 28 putts for the second straight day.
7:16 p.m. – Friday gave us a tale of two Rorys. The one whose last name is Sabbatini made an 8-footer for birdie at the 15th hole to move to 6 under and into sole possession of the lead. The one named McIlroy, who is ranked No. 2 in the world, has missed his third straight cut after shooting a 79 and finishing 6 over.
7:12 p.m. – Trevor Immelman has fought his way back into contention. He shot a 71 on Thursday that included two double bogeys. He then bogeyed two of his first four holes but has played the next 15 in 4 under to climb into a tie for eighth.
6:58 p.m. -- The 16th hole is the second most difficult on the golf course so far this week but Tiger Woods made it look easy Friday. He put his tee shot at the par 3 to 5 feet and made the putt for his second straight birdie and is now tied for the lead again.
6:56 p.m. – Rory Sabbatini just joined Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings at the top of the leaderboard with a 12-footer for birdie at the 14th hoe.
6:51 p.m. – Tiger Woods laid up at the 15th hole and it proved to be the right decision. His third shot produced a 6-footer for birdie that Woods converted to get back to 4 under.
6:40 p.m. – Bo Van Pelt is working on the best round of the afternoon. He shot 73 in the first round but has moved to 3 under in the tournament through 16 holes thanks to five birdies and one lone bogey.
6:25 p.m. – Another Rory, as in Sabbatini, just had a chance to grab a share of the lead but his 6-footer at the 12th hole stubbornly refused to fall. So the South African remains tied with Aaron Baddeley, Jim Furyk, Kyle Reifers and Daniel Summerhays at 4 under.
6:16 p.m. – World No. 2 Rory McIlroy just hit another ball into the water, this time at the 14th hole, and went on to make his second double bogey in the last four holes. He’s 7 over for the day and 6 over for the tournament with four holes remaining as he tries to avoid a third straight missed cut.
6:07 p.m. – Jim Furyk, who won the Memorial Tournament in 2002, just made a 5-footer for birdie at the par-5 11th hole, his fourth birdie of the day, and has climbed into a tie for third, one stroke off the pace.
5:59 p.m. – The par-3 12th has claimed another victim as Tiger Woods hit his tee shot into the gallery, took two wedges to reach the green and then missed a 12-footer for his bogey. Woods’ double dropped him out of the tie for the lead and into a share of sixth at 3 under for the tournament.
5:47 p.m. – Tiger Woods had a chance to take sole possession of the lead at the par-5 11th that have proven so problematic for Rory McIlroy up ahead. But he missed a 3-footer for birdie and had to settle for the par and remains in the tie at 5 under with Scott Stallings and Spencer Levin, both safely in the clubhouse.
5:33 p.m. – A double bogey at the 11th hole has left Rory McIlroy on the cutline at 3 over. He hit his second shot on the bank of the creek that bisects the fairway, then, standing awkwardly tried to advance the ball only to see it ricochet into the water. He took his drop, hit his fifth into a greenside bunker, blasted out and two-putted for the double bogey.
5:23 p.m. – Aaron Baddeley missed the green at the ninth hole and was unable to get up and down, just missing a 19-footer to save par. So he drops out of the tie for the lead as he makes the turn in 35.
5:01 p.m. – Rory McIlroy just made the turn in 38 and has yet to make a birdie on Friday. He can’t afford any mistakes on the homeward stretch – the Northern Irishman, who has made early exits in his last two tournaments – is 1 over for the tournament with the cut projected at 2 over right now.
4:43 p.m. – World No. 1 Luke Donald just made birdie putts of 18 and 8 feet to move to 1 under for the day and 2 under for the tournament. He’s just three off the pace being set by Tiger Woods, Aaron Baddeley, Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings now.
4:29 p.m. – After making a pair of relatively short birdie putts, Tiger Woods drained a 26-footer at the sixth hole to move into a tie for the lead with Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings. Aaron Baddeley, playing a whole behind, is there, too, wedging to tap-in distance at the par-5 fifth.
4:05 p.m. – After 33 holes at Muirfield Village, defending champion Steve Stricker was flirting with the cut line at 2 over. Birdie putts of 7, 9 and 35 feet on his final three holes, though, turned things around and now Stricker is back in the hunt at 1 under.
3:49 p.m. – Tiger Woods took another step up the leaderboard with a 4-footer for birdie at the fourth hole. His second birdie of the round – and Woods missed a 6-footer at the second hole that would have taken him even lower – moved him to 4 under and one stroke off the pace.
3:40 p.m. – The top two players in the world have yet to really flex their muscles at Muirfield Village this week. Luke Donald, who won last week’s BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, and Rory McIlroy opened with 71s and are 1 over through four holes Friday.
3:21 p.m. – Adam Scott’s second round was a tale of two nines. He went out in 32 but shot 40 on the back, including bogeys on his final three holes. The Aussie, who was once leading, will start the third round 2 under for the tournament.
3:12 p.m. – The wind has picked up and the temperature has dropped but Tiger Woods got things off to a positive start when he hit his approach to 17 inches for a tap-in birdie at the first hole. He’s now 3 under and two strokes behind Scott Stallings and Spencer Levin.
2:48 p.m. – Lucas Glover and Henrik Stenson have the low rounds of the day so far with 68s. Glover made seven birdies and three bogeys but closed with a 33 to move to 2 under for the tournament. Stenson made four birdies and eagle and dropped just two shots to par.
2:40 p.m. – Spencer Levin has finished off a round of even par. He’s 5 under through 36 holes and one stroke behind the leader Scott Stallings.
2:36 p.m. – For those of you planning to watch the Golf Channel broadcast, the network plans to stay on live until Tiger Woods finishes his second round.
2:25 p.m. – Johnson Wagner has joined Adam Scott at 4 under after making an 11-footer for birdie at the par-5 15th hole. Scott, who is playing on hole ahead, just bogeyed the 16th when he couldn’t get up and down from the greenside bunker.
2:10 p.m. – He didn’t hit it in the water Friday like he did in the first round but Spencer Levin still has yet to par the 16th hole. Friday’s bogey dropped him out of a tie for the lead with Scott Stallings.
1:53 p.m. – So far the day’s low round belongs to Henrik Stenson, who has just rolled in birdie putts of 4 and 8 feet on Nos. 13 and 14, respectively, to move to 5 under for the day. The resurgent Swede, who picked up his first top-10 since the 2010 British Open earlier this year, is tied for fifth at 3 under.
1:30 p.m. -- It looks like the only man with a chance to win the Grand Slam this year will head to the Olympic Club on the heels of a missed cut. Bubba Watson, playing for just the second time since winning the Masters, is 3 over through 13 holes and 6 over for the tournament.
1:10 p.m. -- Scott Stallings has had an interesting opening nine holes on Friday that includes just two pars. The first didn't come until the 15th hole, his sixth of the day, after three bogeys and two birdies. He then bogeyed the 16th and birdied No. 17 before getting up and down for par at the 18th to turn in 37. He's still 5 under, though, and one stroke off Spencer Levin's lead.
12:45 p.m. – Johnson Wagner, who opened the season with three straight top-10s, including a win and a tie for second, has played the front nine in 33 to move to 3 under for the tournament.
12:29 p.m. – We’re mired in another outburst but this one has no electricity in it so play continues. Spencer Levin and Adam Scott have just made the turn at 6 under for the tournament and own a two-stroke lead over Erik Compton, Scott Stallings and Daniel Summerhays.
12:13 p.m. – The rain delay didn’t halt Adam Scott’s momentum. He had made three birdies in six holes when the delay began and has just added a 6-footer for birdie at the eighth hole to move into a tie for the lead at 6 under.
11:50 a.m. – Scott Stallings came out after the beat and bogeyed the 13th hole, his fourth of the day. He is now 6 under and tied with Spencer Levin at the top of the leaderboard.
11:30 a.m. – The second round has resumed. An hour and 50 minutes has been added to the afternoon tee times, which means that the first group in that wave starts at 2 p.m. Click here to see the new tee times.
10:53 a.m. -- Looks like the threat of showers and isolated thunderstorms remains in the forecast until early afternoon. Winds will increase to 15-20 mph and gust to 30 mph at times, which should make Muirfield Village even more of a test.
10:30 a.m. – Tournament officials have just announced that the range is open and the second round will resume at 11:30 a.m.
9:57 a.m. – Harris English just tweeted: Sitting in the safe house off #4 green. Jerry Springer is on TV. Ryo is getting his chance to experience America at its finest...
9:44 a.m. – After rain fell throughout much of the night, another outburst has halted play early in the second round. Overnight leader Scott Stallings opened with a bogey but added birdies on his next two holes before the horn sounded to move to 7 under.