Tracker: Tiger one shot back of Memorial lead
Saturday, June 2, 2012
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That other Rory — Rory Sabbatini — played his best golf in the worst weather Friday at the Memorial and made a surprising appearance atop the leaderboard. Right behind him was a Tiger Woods that looked all too familiar.
Sabbatini played bogey-free over his final 12 holes, and despite missing a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, put together a 3-under 69 in the cool, blustery conditions at Muirfield Village to take a one-shot lead going into the weekend.
Woods looked strong for the second straight day, though he also had another double bogey that slowed his progress. What pleased him was controlling his ball in the wind for plenty of birdie chances that led to a 69.
"I hit the ball well all day, and it was a day that I needed to," Woods said. "The wind was blowing out there, swirling in those trees, and it was just a tough day."
See how Tiger's round unfolded, as well as how Rory McIlroy missed his third-straight cut, finishing at 7 over.
PHOTOS: Happy 39th Birthday, Tiger!
Photos from the career of the golf world's most famous player.
And off we go!
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Leaderboard update: 8:00 p.m EDT
Rory Sabbatini enters the clubhouse with a one-stroke lead at 6 under. Sabbatini closed his second round with four birdies and no bogeys over his last 12 holes. He had a short birdie putt that lipped out on No. 18, but still has the advantage over a trio of golfers at 5 under, which includes Tiger Woods.
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No. 18, Par 4, 444 yards
This was the site of Tiger's only undoing on Thursday, picking up a sloppy double-bogey after he compounded errors with another.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes iron off the tee, choosing to play it much safer than Thursday, and finds the middle of the fairway. He is well back, but is obviously playing for par here.
• Approach shot: From a little less than 190 yards, Tiger safely puts the ball on the green, leaving himself about 50 feet to the hole. After impact, Tiger grumbled a bit, knowing he needed about a half-club more.
• On the green: Tiger normally reads his putt without input, but on this one, he asks caddie Joe Lacava for some help. He gives the putt a rap, but comes up about four feet short of the cup. He makes that for par and cards a 3-under 69 and is currently one shot back of Rory Sabbatini, who is on the 17th hole.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (round over; 5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory Sabbatini did what Tiger couldn't do just moments ago: make a birdie to take the lead. Sabbatini birdied the par-5 15th to take the lead all by himself at 6 under. Fred Couples birdied No. 17 to move back to 3 over, which is again the cut line after a birdie by Camilo Villegas on No. 15. Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald are finished with their rounds. McIlroy is going to miss the cut at 7 over while Donald will enter the third round at even par. It is McIlroy's third-straight missed cut (Players, BMW and Memorial).
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No. 17, Par 4, 478 yards
Considered to be one of Muifield's toughest holes, accuracy off the tee is paramount if you want to score on the hole.
• Off the tee: With fairway wood in hand, Tiger smacks his ball into the middle of the fairway, quickly picking up his tee after the nice hook.
• Approach shot: Showing the first signs of a cold that he has been battling, he takes his time before hitting his 9-iron into the green. While for many that wouldn't be enough club, it is plenty for Tiger, who lands it on the right side of the green and it trickles back toward the hole to give himself about 18 feet for birdie.
• On the green: Facing a slippery putt down the hill, Tiger leaves it about two inches short and he settles for a par. He doubles over as the ball came to rest, knowing he just needed to give it a little bit extra to make it.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 17 holes, 5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: After narrowly missing two straight birdie putts, Rory Sabbatini finally got one to drop on No. 14 to move into a share of the lead at 5 under. The cut line has also move to 4 over and while it probably won't matter for Rory McIlroy, Fred Couples could benefit. Couples is at 4 under. Other notables at 4 under include Kevin Na and Nick Watney, who is already in the clubhouse.
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No. 16, Par 3, 215 yards
Tiger has had a mixed bag on the par 3s today, with a birdie and double-bogey.
• Off the tee: Tiger plays a nice fade into the long green and he nearly holes it out for an ace, running past the hole by about three feet, which he'll have for a second-straight birdie.
• On the green: Tiger drills the little right-to-left putt and moves to 5 under and is part of a four-way tie for the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 16 holes, 5 under for tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: The projected remains at 3 over despite 71 players being above it, so Rory McIlroy seems to be headed for an early exit. McIlroy is at 6 over after pars on Nos. 15 and 16. Luke Donald is at even after two straight pars. Further up the leaderboard, Jim Furyk and Rory Sabbatini remain at 4 under along with Tiger and Daniel Summerhays.
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No. 15, Par 5, 529 yards
Tiger moves to the final true scoring hole on the back nine, a reachable par 5 if you stay straight.
• Off the tee: And Tiger keeps his tee shot in play, splitting the fairway to set up a good look at going for the green in two. Fairways have not been his issue on Friday. In reality, it was another sequence of three bad shots - this time on No. 12 - in a row again that have kept this from being a great round.
• Second shot: Surprisingly, Tiger chooses to lay-up, simply advancing it down the middle of the fairway to set up a wedge shot into the green. With bunkers lining the green, that was probably the smarter play.
• Approach shot: Tiger plays another wedge shot masterfully, landing it just behind the hole and it trickles back to about five feet.
• On the green: He drains it for his first birdie since the 6th hole and moves to 4 under, just a shot off the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 15 holes, 4 under for tournament)
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No. 14, Par 4, 363 yards
As is the case on many of the holes at Muirfield, water comes into play at the 14th, this time causing players to basically lay-up off the tee.
• Off the tee: With iron in hand, Tiger puts it on the right side of the fairway, just getting through the first cut of rough. Tiger will need to have caution attacking the flag, which is the back right and right above the water.
• Approach shot: Tiger shows a lot of confidence with his wedge shot, taking it high and to the back of the green, settling pin-high and about 15 feet to the left of the flag.
• On the green: Tiger takes a long look at the downhill birdie putt, and he puts the right pace on it - basically tapping it - but it refuses to turn at the last second and settles four inches to the right. He taps in for another par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 14 holes; 3 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Since Tiger's double on No. 12, no one currently on the course has made it to 5 under to join leaders Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings, who are both finished. Rory Sabbatini came close, however, missing a birdie putt just right on No. 12. Sabbatini remains at 4 under along with Jim Furyk, Aaron Baddeley and Daniel Summerhays.
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No. 13, Par 4, 455 yards
Coming off his second double-bogey of the week - he has seven birdies and 21 pars - Tiger will need to rite his ship to stay within striking distance of co-leaders Scott Stallings and Spencer Levin, who are 5 under and in the clubhouse. The last time Tiger had two doubles (or worse) in one week? 2003.
• Off the tee: With 3-wood in hand, Tiger tees it up on the left side of the tee box and doesn't get the distance he was looking for, landing in the left rough. He reaches and snags his tee with a bit of anger.
• Approach shot: With the ball above his feet, Tiger takes a big swing at it and plays a big right-to-left hook into the green. It comes to rest about 60 feet behind the hole.
• On the green: Putting from another zip code, Tiger doesn't hit it hard enough to get there and leaves himself five feet above the hole for par. He drains the par putt to stay at 3 under and two off the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 13 holes; 3 under for tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Things continue to get worse for Rory McIlroy, who finds water again - this time hitting his tee shot into a creek running across the fairway some 240 yards from the tee box at the par-4 14th. After a penalty stroke, McIlroy sends the ball over the green and then leaves his chip shot way short - 18 feet - after the ball catches the rough. He misses the bogey putt and cards his second double on the back nine to fall to 6 over. Luke Donald doesn't fair much better, three-putting for bogey to fall to even.
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No. 12, Par 3, 184 yards
With a lake in front and bunkers in the front and back right, Tiger needs to be careful here.
• Off the tee: With 7-iron in hand, Tiger hits his first bad shot of the day, flying over the green and hitting into a group of fans behind the green. He might have put a little extra on that shot after Fred Couples put his tee shot in the water right before him.
• Around the green: Tiger is 8 of 9 in scrambling this week (first in the field), but has an awkward stance on his second shot and gets a bit too cute with his shot and doesn't get it out of the rough. Still facing a slick, downhill chip, Tiger chunks it a second time and will have 10 feet for bogey.
• On the green: Tiger's bogey putt never finds the right line and skirts under the hole and he picks up double bogey to fall back to 3 under.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 12 holes; 3 under for tournament)
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No. 11, Par 5, 567 yards
The 11th hole is playing as the easiest hole on the course today and should provide an opportunity for Tiger to attack.
• Off the tee: Tiger pulls 3-wood and puts yet another ball in the middle of the fairway and he'll have a shot at the green in two, if he is willing to take the risk with water lining the left side.
• Second shot: Tiger decides to lay-up - he was too far back anyways - and hits a low-liner that settles in the middle of the fairway to set up a wedge into the green.
• Approach shot: Tiger knew what he was doing on this hole, lofting his third shot high in the air and lands it about three feet from the hole to set up what would be his first birdie since the 6th hole.
• On the green: Despite the shortness of the birdie attempt, Tiger takes his time reading it and then misses it to the left, simply pulling the putt. He makes the two-foot comebacker for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 11 holes; 5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlroy runs into big trouble at the par-5 11th. He hits his second shot into the bank of the creek along the right side of the fairway. His third shot from the rough ricochets back into the water and after a penalty stroke, he finds a greenside bunker. McIlroy would finish with a double, falling back to 3 over and right on the projected cut line. Luke Donald makes a big save on the par-3 12th. Donald awkwardly hit his first shot left into some rough on the backside of a hill some 18 yards form the hole. His second shot just misses going in the cup and he makes a short putt to save par. McIlroy also settles down a little bit, making par after putting his first shot to about 15 feet from the hole.
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No. 10, Par 4, 471 yards
After an impressive front nine that saw Tiger birdie three of his first six holes, Tiger will take to the back nine looking to make more noise and stay at or near the lead. The 10th holes is one of two uphill driving spots (along with the 15th), allowing players to use driver in attacking the bountiful fairway.
• Off the tee: With driver in hand, Tiger smokes his tee ball up the right side at the lengthy par 4, staring it down as it faded into the fairway.
• Approach shot: From nearly 190 yards, Tiger gets a lot of turf with his shot and flies right over the flag, coming to rest about 25 feet beyond the hole, leaving himself with a slick, downhill putt for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger's birdie putt doesn't start enough left and it runs past the hole, leaving Woods with a 4-footer for par. He was a bit flustered after that putt, showing some frustration as it skirted by. Tiger backs off the comebacker when the wind kicked up, gives it another read and then slams it home for his fourth-straight par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 10 holes; 5 under for tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Luke Donald moved to 2 under after a birdie on the par-3 eighth - his second straight, but started the back nine with a bogey on the par-4 10th hole. Rory McIlroy manage par on No. 10, but finds himself steadily falling back. He's at 1 over after a bogey on No. 8. Jim Furyk is quietly putting together a solid second round. Furyk is 3 under after starting the day at even par. He has no bogeys through eight holes.
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No. 9, Par 4, 412 yards
The 9th hole doesn't present many obstacles off the tee, but the approach over water to a green lined by a bunker in the front left and back right can cause difficulties.
• Off the tee: With fairway wood in hand, Tiger finds another fairway, sending it up the right side and leaves himself about 145 yards to the flag on the extreme left.
• Approach shot: Choking up on his club, Tiger hits a three-quarters, downhill shot that lands pin-high and about 20 feet away, but then it spins back toward the edge of the green and settles about 35 feet from the flag.
• On the green: Getting a bit of help on the read after Fred Couples chipped from just behind him, Tiger gives it a great run and it comes to rest on the lip and he settles for a 3-under 33 on the front, moving him into a tie for the lead with Aaron Baddeley, Scott Stallings and Spencer Levin.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 9 holes; 5 under for the tournament)
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No. 8, Par 3, 185 yards
Tournament officials have made this hole intriguing today, putting the pin right in the middle at the front of the green. If you go too short, you'll hit a bank in front and roll back into a greenside bunker.
• Off the tee: With 8-iron in hand, Tiger stares at the moving branches above him prior to addressing the ball. He sticks with the club, and lands it on the green, about hole-high and 15 feet to the left.
• On the green: Facing a left-to-right putt, Tiger plays it too much to the left and it runs about a foot past. He taps in for a par, but stays tied for the lead at 5 under.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 8 holes; 5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Luke Donald birdied the par-3 8th hole to move to 2 under, three shots off the lead.
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No. 7, Par 5, 563 yards
Tiger has managed to play consistent golf at Muirfield, with only the double-bogey at 18 on Thursday counting against him. He has seven birdies and 16 pars thus far.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes less-than-driver off the tee and finds the left rough and will have nearly 280 yards left to the green.
• Second shot: Tiger can only muscle it out of the rough and advance it down the middle of the fairway.
• Approach shot: With wedge in hand, he attacks the back-left pin location, landing right next to the hole and it runs just off the green, but he'll be able to putt.
• On the green: Tiger doesn't read enough break in the right-to-left putt and it skirts under the hole and he taps in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 7 holes; 5 under for tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Luke Donald makes a big putt on the par-5 seventh, making about an 18-foot birdie to move to even on the day and 1 under for the tournament. Rory McIlroy made par and is even, five strokes back of the leaders. The third member of that group, Keegan Bradley, is 5 over for the round and 7 over overall after bogeying No. 7 - his third straight hole of bogey or worse.
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No. 6, Par 4, 447 yards
Tiger has hit 65 percent of his greens in regulation thus far in the tournament, while averaging 311.5 yards off the tee.
• Off the tee: With bunkers on both the left and right of the fairway, it is easy to find trouble. But Tiger hammers a slight fade right into the middle of the fairway and he should be able to attack the front-right hole location.
• Approach shot: With a three-quarters swing from about 150 yards, Tiger lands it on the green and about 20 feet left of the flag.
• On the green: Tiger drains the long birdie putt, with the ball squirming into the hole on the right side, generating a fist pump from Woods. He moves into a four-way tie for the lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (thru 6 holes; 5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald each just missed long birdie putts at the par-4 sixth. McIlroy had a tricky 24-footer downhill that he left just left. Donald, from just about the same location on the green as Rory, also left his just left of the cup. Both are remain at even par. Just before Tiger went to 5 under, Aaron Baddeley also joined the leaders. Baddeley is 2 under through five holes Friday after making birdie on the par-5 fifth.
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No. 5, Par 5, 527 yards
Tiger birdied three of the four par 5s on Thursday, reversing a recent trend of the former World No. 1 struggling on the scoring holes. He is 111 under on the par 5s in his career at the Memorial.
• Off the tee: Tiger re-thinks his club choice and pulls 3-wood, but still finds trouble at the par 5, finding the trees on the right-hand side and he'll have a tough time even advancing it to get a good third shot.
• Second shot: Tiger is forced to lay up and he finds the fairway, where he'll have a good look with his third shot. The green is lined by water on the left, so he'll need to be careful with the approach.
• Approach shot: From nearly 140 yards, Tiger misjudges the distance and flies the ball off the back of the green and into some nasty rough. He'll need a nice chip to have any chance of saving par.
• Around the green: Tiger plays a solid chip shot that finds the line to the hole, but settles about three feet short.
• On the green: Tiger drains the quick, downhill putt to save par and stay at 4 under.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 5 holes; 4 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlory had a shot to birdie the par-5 fifth and rebound from a bogey at No. 4. McIlory found a greenside bunker on his second shot, but managed to give himself a nice look at birdie with his third shot, rolling his bunker shot about seven feet past the hole. But McIlroy couldn't capitalized, missing just right, and remains at even for the tournament.
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No. 4, Par 3, 200 yards
Tiger played the par 3s at even par on Thursday, including two impressive up-and-downs from greenside bunkers.
• Off the tee: Tiger seems to be zoned in with his irons early, again launching a shot way into the air and it lands about four feet to the right of the cup and settles just above the hole, giving Tiger a four-footer for birdie.
• On the green: And Tiger nails the putt, with the ball tailing a little from left to right. He is now one shot off the lead shared by Scott Stallings and Spencer Levin.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (thru 4 holes; 4 under for the tournament)
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No. 3, Par 4, 401 yards
Tiger will not be able to squander many of the opportunities he just had on the par-4 2nd hole, as Muirfield doesn't present easy 6-footers for birdie all that often.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes iron and lands it in the fairway, but doesn't go far enough on the dogleg par 4, causing him to hang his head as the ball landed.
• Approach shot: Tiger immediately begins to yell at his ball to "Bite!" but it doesn't do so, and he comes to rest in greenside rough and will have a difficult chip back down the green.
• Around the green: With an awkward stance in the rough, Tiger makes the shot look fairly easy, running his chip down the green, to about five feet right of the cup.
• On the green: With his black pants whipping in the wind, Tiger knocks in the par putt for a nice up-and-down after his short tee shot.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 4 holes; 3 under for tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: There are 19 players within three shots of the lead, including Jim Furyk, who has started his round with two birdies - the latest coming at the par-4 second hole, where he chipped it in from just shy of the green. Of those 19 players, Rory McIlroy is not one of them, he just missed a par putt on the par-3 fourth to drop to even for the tournament.
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No. 2, Par 4, 455 yards
Accuracy will be very important on Friday, with the rough thick and wet and tough to advance the ball through.
• Off the tee: Tiger hits less-than-driver again and calmly smacks it down the middle of the fairway for another fairway hit. Tiger didn't get himself into trouble off the tee box on Thursday, only having hiccups on the par 3s.
• Approach shot: Tiger launches his second shot high into the air and it lands softly and rolls back to hole-high, about six feet to the right of the flag.
• On the green: Tiger misses the six-footer, knowing it immediately and it comes to rest about an inch to the left of the cup. He frustratingly knocks it in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament; thru 2 holes)
• Leaderboard update: Adam Scott started his second round off with four birdies en route to a 4-under 32 on the front nine. As a result, Scott vaulted up the leaderboard into a share for the lead. But a bogey on the par-5 11th began what ended up being a 4-over back nine. Scott is in the clubhouse at 2 under, three shots back of leaders Scott Stallings, who is on No. 18, and Spencer Levin, who is finished with his second round.
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No. 1, Par 4, 470 yards
Wearing a grey sweater with a blue shirt peaking through the top, Tiger takes to a course that is soggy and wet and the temperatures are cool and in the 60s. Tiger's tee time was delayed by a little more than 90 minutes because of heavy rain in the morning.
• Off the tee: Tiger takes a fairway wood off the tee and slams it up the right side of the fairway, putting himself in a good position to attack the green.
• Approach shot: While the wet course can stop tee balls from running down the fairway, it does allow players to take dead aim at the pins, which Tiger does and he leaves himself about two feet for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger knocks in the short birdie attempt and moves to within three shots of Scott Stallings' lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (thru 1 hole; 3 under for tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlroy just misses a birdie at No. 1 and stays at 1 under.
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Update No. 7: 2:22 p.m.
Scott Stallings has the lead to himself now after Spencer Levin's bogey at the par-3 16th - he doubled the hole Thursday. Adam Scott fell back to 4 under after bogeying No. 16 as well and is joined by Johnson Wagner, who started the day at even.
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Update No. 6: 1:52 p.m.
Adam Scott bounces back with a birdie on the par-4 14th. Scott drained a 7-foot birdie putt to move back within a shot of the lead at 5 under. Some notables back in the pack: Bubba Watson (6 over), Nick Watney (4 over) and Keegan Bradley (4 over). Rickie Fowler is back to 1 under, however, with five holes remaining.
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Update No. 5: 1:42 p.m.
Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings lead at 6 under while Adam Scott has fallen back to 4 under after bogeying the par-4 13th. Scott found the right green-side bunker and then left himself a 10-foot par putt, which he missed by inches. After a bogey-riddled first seven holes - a stretch that included four bogeys - Stallings has fought back to even on the day, most recently notching a birdie on No. 2. Levin is through 14 holes.
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Update No. 4: 1:02 p.m.
Just like he was at times Thursday, Spencer Levin is all alone in first place Friday after Adam Scott bogeys the par-5 11th – Levin also bogeyed the hole earlier. Scott sent his second shot right into the rough and then left his third shot 40 yards short in some more rough. He later missed an 18-foot putt to save par.
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Update No. 3: 12:57 p.m. EDT
Spencer Levin joins Adam Scott atop the leaderboard at 6 under thanks to a birdie at the par-3 12th. Levin stuck his first shot to within six feet of the hole at No. 12. Elsewhere, Rickie Fowler is back to 1 under after closing out the back nine – Fowler and partner Bubba Watson took off from No. 10 this morning – with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18. Fowler has three birdies and three bogeys through nine. Watson is still at 5 under, 2 under on the day.
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Update No. 2: 12:45 p.m. EDT
Adam Scott is your new leader at 6 under after Spencer Levin’s bogey at the par-5 11th and Scott Stallings cards three doubles in a four-hole stretch starting at No. 13. Levin falls back to 5 under along with Daniel Summerhays and Erik Compton while Stallings drops to 4 under.
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Update No. 1: 11:54 a.m. EDT
Adam Scott entered Friday 2 under and four shots back of leader Scott Stallings. But the Aussie is 3 under through six holes and charging. He's birdied the par-4 second and sixth holes, as well as the par-5 fifth - a hole in which he birdied Thursday.
Speaking of the first-round leader, Scott Stallings has already begun his second round and is even through four. Spencer Levin, who entered the clubhouse Thursday with the lead at 5 under has a couple birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 and is 1 under through eight, tying him with Stallings for the lead at the moment.
With Phil Mickelson withdrawing after his first round Thursday, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler teed off as a pair Friday, but neither has found much success. Fowler, who entered the day at 1 under and playing fairly well, is 2 over through five. Watson is in serious danger of missing the cut as the Masters champ is 2 over today and 5 over for the tourney.
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Round 1 coverage
• Simply tired: Phil Mickelson says that it wasn't his 7-over 79 that caused his post-round withdrawal from Memorial on Thursday. It was his whirlwind schedule before the event that left him "fatigued." Story.
• Unassuming star: Much of the attention on Thursday went to the likes of Tiger Woods, but Muirfield Village was the biggest star. Story.
• Olympic feat: Dustin Johnson might not remember match play at the 2007 U.S. Amateur, played at The Olympic Club, too clearly, but it's safe to say his opponent does. Story.