How it Happened: Kuchar leads Memorial, Tiger sinks

Tiger Woods during the third round of the 2013 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

Tiger Woods during the third round of the 2013 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

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Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

6:33:28 PM ET. 04/23/2014




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Tiger Woods cited wind both fairway-to-green and on the putting surfaces after he struggled to a second-round 74 at the Memorial, Jack Nicklaus' tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

A day later, the 74 didn't look so bad compared to his third-round 79 – a score that eclipsed the much-discussed 78 that Rory McIlroy had carded in the first round.

Second-round leader Bill Haas and first-round leader Charl Schwartzel played above par Saturday as well to slide down the leaderboard.

Matt Kuchar took advantage of the open window and took a two-shot lead at 8 under with a 70. That was one of just 19 rounds under par in Saturday's winds at Muirfield Village.

Recap the third-round action from Memorial right here – and scroll down for our previous coverage of this week's events.

• • •

Update No. 25: 5:14 p.m. EDT

Bill Haas, Charl Schwartzel and Kyle Stanley all finish with pars to end over-par rounds: Haas, the second-round leader, shoots 76 to fall to 5 under, while Schwartzel shoots 76 to fall to 4 under and Stanley shoots 73 to fall to 6 under.

Stanley will play alongside Kevin Chappell and leader Matt Kuchar in Sunday's final threesome. The Tour has announced that play will begin at 10:45 a.m. EDT in threesomes off both nines.

• • •

Update No. 24: 4:57 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar ends his round with his third straight par for a 70, a score bettered by just six players. He heads to the clubhouse with the lead at 8 under and will play in Sunday's final group.

• • •

Update No. 23: 4:39 p.m. EDT

Charl Schwartzel makes par at No. 16 but is six over for his last nine holes, a stretch that began when he last held the lead today. He's 4 over today with two holes to play, 4 under for the week.

Rory McIlroy ends his day with a birdie at No. 9 for a 75, which puts him at 6 over for the week.

Leader Matt Kuchar pars No. 17 to remain 8 under, while Matt Jones pars No. 18 for a 70 to end the day at 5 under.

• • •

Update No. 22: 4:23 p.m. EDT

Kyle Stanley birdies No. 15, moving back to 6 under – the mark where Kevin Chappell stands after 54 holes as he pars his last three holes for a 68.

Matt Jones birdies No. 17 to move back to 5 under.

Leader Matt Kuchar pars No. 16 to remain 8 under.

• • •

Update No. 21: 4:17 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy bogeys No. 8 to fall to 7 over, having parred the four previous holes and carded a double bogey before that. He heads to his last hole of the day one shot ahead of Tiger Woods and Jimmy Walker, three ahead of Zach Johnson and four ahead of Justin Hicks and Jordan Spieth at the back of the post-cut field.

• • •

Update No. 20: 4:04 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar's lead narrows after he hits his second shot into the water at No. 15, then scrambling on the par 5 for a bogey to slip to 8 under, two ahead of Kevin Chappell.

• • •

Update No. 19: 3:56 p.m. EDT

Bill Haas takes his third straight bogey at No. 14 and drops to 5 under; Haas is 4 over today, most of the damage coming since No. 8.

Matt Jones settles for par at No. 15, then hits it in the water at No. 16 and makes double bogey to drop to 4 under; Jones is 1 under today.

• • •

Update No. 18: 3:37 p.m. EDT

There's been a bit of a Mason-Dixon Line between the top three today – Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas and Charl Schwartzel, in varying orders – and the other challengers during the third round. But Haas falls to 6 under with a bogey at the 13th, his third in the last six holes. Schwartzel double bogeys to fall to 5 under.

Kevin Chappell is T-2 with Haas at 6 under, reaching the par-5 15th in two and two-putting for birdie to get to 6 under, two back of Kuchar and one back of Haas and Schwartzel. Matt Jones, also T-2 at 6 under, then gets greenside in two at the 15th and will try to get up and down to take second alone.

Kuchar, meanwhile, stretches his lead to two shots with his second straight birdie and moves to 9 under through 14.

• • •

Update No. 17: 3:21 p.m. EDT

Bill Haas bogeys No. 12 to fall back into a tie for the lead at 7 under. But not for long as Matt Kuchar birdies No. 13 to take the lead again at 8 under. Quite a bit of shuffling among the top three today.

Luke Guthrie birdies No. 6 to climb to 3 over; with three to play, he 1 over today. Guthrie's former Illinois team pulled off an upset of No. 1 Cal in today's match-play semifinals of the NCAA Championship and will face Alabama, which won its semi over Georgia Tech (check out the details in our NCAA Tracker here).

• • •

Update No. 16: 3:03 p.m. EDT

Bill Haas birdies No. 11 to move back into the lead at 8 under, as Matt Kuchar and Charl Schwartzel bogey Nos. 12 and 11 respectively – effectively a two-for-one position swap.

• • •

Update No. 15: 2:54 p.m. EDT

Kevin Chappell birdies No. 13 to get back to 5 under and move alone into fifth. Reigning Masters champion Adam Scott shot 69 to move to 4 under, T-6 as things stand.

Tiger Tracker: A footnote to Tiger Woods' third-round 79: Playing partner Zach Johnson shot 81, with eight bogeys, a double bogey and a birdie. Who would have guessed that in this star-studded threesome, Jim Furyk would shoot a 69 to be the best in the group by 10?

• • •

Update No. 14: 2:46 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar gets a shot back with his birdie at the par-4 No. 10 hole, moving into second alone at 8 under – and then a share of the lead as Charl Schwartzel bogeys No. 9.

Matt Jones cards his second straight birdie to move into T-3 with Bill Haas for a few moments, then bogeys No. 12 to fall back again. Jones finished T-14 at the Puerto Rico Open and T-15 at the Sony Open in Hawaii this season.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods bogeys his last hole of the day to card a 79 at Muirfield Village, where he has won five times. He stands 8 over after 54 holes and will have an unusually early Sunday tee time for the Memorial.

• • •

Update No. 13: 2:29 p.m. EDT

Fred Couples birdies No. 7 to get to 4 under for the day, 3 under for the week.

Rory McIlroy's string of pars ends at six with a bogey at No. 1; he slips to 4 over, 1 over for the day.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot at the par-3 No. 8 to inside 10 feet, but his putt runs past and he taps in for par to remain 7 over. One hole left in his problematic third round (par would give him 78).

• • •

Update No. 12: 2:16 p.m. EDT

Bogeys all around for the top three men on the leaderboard – Charl Schwartzel and Bill Haas at No. 8, Matt Kuchar at No. 9. But they hold their ground for the most part as Schwartzel still leads by two at 9 under, with Haas and Kuchar T-2 one ahead of Matt Jones. A birdie at No. 10 got Jones into the mix, ahead of J.J. Henry and Kyle Stanley who are 5 under.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods scrambles for par at the par-5 No. 7 and remains 7 over with two to play today.

• • •

Update No. 11: 2:02 p.m. EDT

Russell Henley birdies No. 7 to get to 3 under for the day and the tournament. Henley won the Sony Open in Hawaii to start the season.

Tiger Tracker: For the second straight hole, Tiger Woods misses the fairway badly enough to force him to lay up – the steadiest part of his game today now slipping as well.

• • •

Update No. 10: 1:54 p.m. EDT

Leader Charl Schwartzel snares his second birdie in three holes with a 10-footer on No. 7 to move to 10 under. Playing partner Bill Haas misses a birdie try from about 15 feet and is two back of the lead – as is Matt Kuchar, who makes par at No. 8.

• • •

Update No. 9: 1:51 p.m. EDT

J.J. Henry gives a shot back with a bogey at No. 6 and slips to 4 under with three to play.

Rory McIlroy has made five straight pars and remains 3 over through eight.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods finds the rough on No. 6 and has to lay up short of the green. He gets it on the green from there and two-putts for bogey, dropping back to 7 over.

• • •

Update No. 8: 1:38 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar birdies the par-5 7th to move into a tie for second with Bill Haas, 8 under and one shot back of Charl Schwartzel. Kuchar's Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are in the match-play semifinal of the NCAA Championship today (track the Final Fore here).

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods gets greenside in two at the par-5 No. 5 and gets up and down for birdie to climb to 6 under. He's T-68 and now two shots ahead of the bottom of the field (Justin Hicks is 8 over, a figure Tiger exceeded earlier today).

• • •

Update No. 7: 1:21 p.m. EDT

Kevin Chappell gets to 5 under with three straight birdies at Nos. 5-7, and follows with a par.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods gets up and down for par and remains 7 over with five to play.

• • •

Update No. 6: 1:09 p.m. EDT

Charl Schwartzel reclaims the lead he'd held at the end of the first round with a birdie at No. 5, moving to 9 under. Bill Haas misses a birdie try and makes par to remain 8 under.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods misses the green with his tee shot at the par-3 No. 4 hole.

• • •

Update No. 5: 1:01 p.m. EDT

Kyle Stanley and Bubba Watson bogey Nos. 4 and 5 respectively to drop to 5 under, T-4.

Chris Stroud is 4 under today, with four birdies in his first five holes and bogey-free through eight.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods settles for par as his birdie putt runs past and he makes the second. He remains 7 over for the week.

• • •

Update No. 4: 12:52 p.m. EDT

Bill Haas bogeys No. 4 to drop into a share of the lead with Charl Schwartzel at 8 under.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods finds another fairway at No. 3 and hits his approach on the green for a birdie opportunity of less than 10 feet. Can he make a third straight?

• • •

Update No. 3: 12:46 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar picks up a stroke with a birdie at No. 4, rising to 7 under and standing alone in third. J.J. Henry improves to 5 under with a birdie at No. 3, his fifth during a bogey-free round.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods makes another birdie at No. 2, finding the fairway and green before dropping his putt and improving to 7 over.

• • •

Update No. 2: 12:32 p.m. EDT

Robert Karlsson double bogeys No. 2 and follows with a birdie at No. 3; he's 3 under, T-10.

Rory McIlroy birdies No. 12 to get back to even for the day, 3 over for the week.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods makes his first birdie of the day to improve a bit to 8 over for the week, still last – by three shots – among those on the course today.

• • •

Update No. 1: 12:23 p.m. EDT

Kyle Stanley bogeys the second to fall to 6 under, while Bill Haas and Charl Schwartzel par to remain atop the board.

Bubba Watson bogeys the third to drop back to 6 under and T-3 with Stanley and Matt Kuchar.

• Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods finds the fairway and then the green after making the turn to No. 1 in the wake of touring the back in 44 with two double bogeys and a triple bogey to close it out.

• • •

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 444 yards

Tiger has played this hole bogey-par so far this week. Safe to say, he needs a birdie next.

Off the tee: Tiger finds the fairway and should have a short iron in.

Approach: No green in regulation, as he's well short of the green.

Around the green: Tiger's third shot leaves him still off the green, and he then pitches to about 5 feet. He runs that putt well past the cup and goes on to three-putt for triple bogey.

• TIGER FOR THE DAY: 8 over; 9 over for the week.

• ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Leader Bill Haas opens with a par, as do playing partners Charl Schwartzel and Kyle Stanley.

Bubba Watson birdies No. 2 to tie Kyle Stanley in second at 7 under.

Rory McIlroy opens with a bogey and follows with a par, dropping to 4 over.

• • •

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 478 yards

Tiger's 1 under here this week, but his erratic play makes anything possible right now.

Off the tee: Another fairway. You wonder where Tiger would be if not for his reliability out of the tee box.

Approach: Another missed green for Tiger, as he finds the rough left.

Around the green: Tiger misses the green short with his third shot, then barely misses his par attempt. He taps in for his first bogey of the day.

• TIGER FOR THE DAY: 5 over; he's 6 over for the week.

• ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: J.J. Henry birdies No. 18 as he makes the turn 4 under for the day and the tournament. Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Robert Karlsson open with pars in the group ahead of leader Bill Haas.

• • •

Hole No. 16: Par 3, 201 yards

Let's see what Tiger can muster the rest of the way after two double bogeys in four holes. He's parred this hole twice this week. The leaders will be teeing off soon, by the way.

Off the tee: Short of the green, Tiger will need to get up and down for par.

Around the green: From the fringe, Tiger nearly makes birdie. He taps in to steady his scorecard a bit.

• TIGER FOR THE DAY: 4 over; he's 5 over for the week, 14 back of leader Bill Haas.

• ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Jim Furyk makes birdie to get to 3 under for the day and rise to T-13 at 2 under.

• • •

Hole No. 15: Par 5, 529 yards

This is where Tiger Woods made his other double bogey of the week, getting greenside in two yesterday and needing five shots to get in the hole.

On the tee: Another fairway for Tiger, which really hasn't been much of a problem during the last 36 holes or so. He's well within range to take aim at the green, just less than 250 out.

Approach: Tiger misses wide left and faces about a 30-yard pitch to the green.

Around the green: Will recent history repeat itself? Tiger's third shot goes over the green. He then chips on – and three putts his way to another double bogey, his third of the week at a course he's been known to dominate.

• TIGER FOR THE DAY: 4 over; he's 5 over for the week, 14 back of leader Bill Haas.

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Billy Horschel, as Tiger did, double bogeys No. 12 and falls back to even for the day, 1 over for the week.

• • •

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 363 yards

A creek forces a risk-reward mentality on this hole; Tiger Woods has made birdie and par here during the first two rounds.

Off the tee: Fairway once again for Tiger, no problem. Perhaps the bad tee ball earlier was a one-off.

Approach: Another green in regulation, and Tiger is in birdie range again. Can he convert?

On the green: Tiger's got better speed with the putter today than yesterday so far, but another birdie try slides by and he settles for par.

• TIGER FOR THE DAY: 2 over; he's 3 over for the week, 12 back of leader Bill Haas.

• ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Billy Horschel birdies his first two holes to get to 1 under. J.J. Henry and Richard H. Lee also are 2 under for the day – as is Jim Furyk, one of Woods' playing partners.

• • •

Hole No. 13: Par 4, 455 yards

Clearly, Tiger can't play conservatively if he is to recover from that double bogey, yet the weather isn't favorable. He's played this hole in par-bogey this week.

Off the tee: Tiger settles down enough to find the fairway here.

Approach: The ball finds the green but leaves Tiger facing a long first putt of more than 50 feet.

On the green: Tiger rolls it inside 4 feet, short of the cup. He makes the putt for par.

• TIGER FOR THE DAY: 2 over; 3 over overall, 12 back of leader Bill Haas.

• ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Tiger's got company at 2 over for the round in the early going: playing partner Zach Johnson, as well as Rickie Fowler and Fabian Gomez, are right there with him.

• • •

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 184 yards

Tiger Woods bogeyed this hole the first day and parred it Friday. He could use another birdie chance here to get his putter going.

Off the tee: Tiger finds the bunker in front, missing his first green of the day.

Around the green: From the sand, Tiger can't hit the green. He then pitches to about 10 feet or so. Two putts later, Tiger has his second double bogey in as many days on Memorial's back nine.

TIGER FOR THE DAY: 2 over; 3 over overall, 12 back of leader Bill Haas.

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Fred Couples, who played alongside Tiger for the first two rounds, birdies No. 11 to move to even par for the week.

• • •

Hole No. 11: Par 5, 567 yards

Tiger Woods has failed to take advantage of par 5s this week, playing them to even par. He's birdied and parred this one so far this week.

Off the tee: Missing well right, Tiger finds the rough past the fairway bunker.

Approach: Tiger lays up with his second shot, then reaches the green in three with about a 10-foot birdie attempt on tap.

On the green: Strong again, but not terribly so, Tiger runs his birdie attempt past the cup. He makes another comebacker for par.

• TIGER FOR THE DAY: Even par; 1 over overall, 10 back of leader Bill Haas.

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Derek Ernst falls back to even par for the day with a bogey at the second; he's 1 under for the week.

• • •

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 471 yards

For the second straight day, Tiger Woods begins his round at Memorial's 10th tee. He's made par here twice this week.

Off the tee: Finding the fairway wasn't an issue for Tiger yesterday despite the gusts of wind that he cited as trouble for the rest of his game. He's in the short grass again to start his day.

Approach: Tiger finds the green, giving himself about 15 feet to the pin for a birdie opportunity.

On the green: The first putt runs past about two feet, and Tiger raps in the comebacker to start his day with a par.

TIGER FOR THE DAY: Even par; 1 over overall, 10 back of leader Bill Haas.

ELSEWHERE ON THE COURSE: Ernie Els is among five golfers who open their day with a bogey, as is Woods' playing partner Zach Johnson; their other partner, Jim Furyk, matches Tiger's par. Derek Ernst and Richard H. Lee open with a birdie.

• • •

Weather conditions

It's cloudy with temps in the low 70s as the third round gets underway, but thunderstorms might not be far off according to accuweather.com – the chance of rain will hover between 15 and 50 percent today, with highs around 80.

• • •

Friday's coverage

• Rude: Tiger's flaws resurface at unlikely spot, Memorial

5 Things: Haas carries new load at Memorial; Guan misses cut

How it Happened: Haas leads; Tiger struggles; McIlroy squeezes past cut line

Watney struggles at Memorial; Harmon notices – and tells Twitter goodbye

Acey-deucy for Aussie: Dodt jars two during European Tour round

• • •

Thursday's coverage

Rude: Tiger-vs.-Rory rivalry isn't building at this rate

Of all that happened Thursday at Muirfield Village – Charl Schwartzel’s leading 65, Tiger Woods losing to 53-year-old Fred Couples (70) and barely beating 14-year-old Tianlang Guan – Rory McIlroy’s bad day might be most compelling.

5 Things: Piercy thinks, Bradley booms in Memorial first round

Brains prevailed over brawn for Scott Piercy off the tee, while Keegan Bradley's distances impressed Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples during the first round of the Memorial.

How it Happened: Schwartzel leads Memorial, Tiger lurks

Tiger Woods started his pursuit of a sixth Memorial title quietly but on the right foot Thursday, while Charl Schwartzel fired a 65 early to earn the first-round lead.

Goosen WDs from U.S. Open; spot added to sectional qualifying

Away from Muirfield Village, Retief Goosen has withdrawn from the 2013 U.S. Open Championship with a back injury. The U.S. Golf Association announced Goosen’s withdrawal Thursday. He was fully exempt into the event.

Nike unveils VR Forged wedges

Nike's new VR Forged wedges expand the VR family of clubs and offer three distinct sole grinds designed to accommodate various course conditions and shot-making demands.

TaylorMade to release R1 Black driver

Heeding consumer demand for a more conventional look, TaylorMade will begin offering its white R1 driver in an all-black version. The R1 Black hits select retailers beginning June 10.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

Nicklaus' scouting report on Merion: Don't hold back

Among the annual rituals at the Memorial: A “World According to Jack” address that's among the most interesting staples in golf – because of what is being said and who is weighing in.

Derek Ernst charts a tough course toward U.S. Open

When was the last time a PGA Tour tournament winner was forced to tee it up at a local qualifier for the U.S. Open in the same calendar year or another player ranked 123rd in the world was ineligible for an Open Championship qualifier? Derek Ernst fits the bill on both counts.

No surprise here: Tiger overwhelming favorite at Memorial

Four wins in 2013. Five wins at Memorial. So it is no shock that Tiger Woods would register as the favorite this week at the house that Jack Nicklaus built. A look at our predictions.

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