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‘PGA’ Articles

Kuchar with red-hot third round controls Memorial Tournament

Courtesy Justin Boggs, Columbus Wired

DUBLIN, Ohio  – Sometimes it is not about hitting your mark, but where you miss your mark. Matt Kuchar used that mantra on a windy day to surge to the 54-hole lead at the Memorial Tournament Saturday.

High winds, fast greens, and tough pin placements made for a tall task for the world’s best Saturday at Muirfield Village Golf Course as top pros struggled to shoot under par. Kuchar started the day three back of Bill Haas. Kuchar shot a 2-under, 70 to surpass Haas and the field to lead the Memorial by two strokes.

“This place is really challenging, particularly with winds at 25 miles an hour all day,” Kuchar said. “It was a bit of survival. I was fortunate to make a handful of birdies. I think anytime you make a birdie in these conditions, you feel like you’re really up on the field here.”

Matt Kuchar (courtesy PGA Tour)

Kuchar leads Kevin Chappell and Kyle Stanley by two strokes. The trio will be the final group to tee off from No. 1 Sunday with a 12:40 p.m. start time.

The two top golfers in the world were not up to the challenge posed by Muirfield. World’s No. 1 Tiger Woods was tested out of the gates as he had two double bogeys and a triple bogey in his first nine holes to finish the day at 7 over on Saturday, his worst round in three years. World’s No. 2 Rory McIlroy did not do much better as he shot 3 over for the third round.

Kuchar teed off after Woods started his front nine meltdown but was unaware of what transpired until after he completed his round.

“I did not know about Tiger’s struggles until I got in here,” Kuchar said. “But it’s understandable in these conditions. If you’re not on good form, these conditions are really going to beat you up.”

Kuchar has been one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour this season. He has made the cut in every tournament he has competed in this season and won the World Golf Championship Match Play tournament in February. He is coming off a runner-up performance last weekend at the Invitational at Colonial.

“You’ve got to hit the ball solid,” Kuchar said. “If you’re not hitting the ball solid, you don’t have a chance.”

Only Kuchar, Chappell, and 2010 Memorial winner Justin Rose have had three under-par rounds this weekend. Rose still feels like he is in the mix as he was in a similar circumstance in 2010 when he won his first ever PGA Tour title at Muirfield.

“Anytime you’ve done it, you can draw strength from that,” Rose said. “I had a pretty specific game plan going into the final round in 2010, being three back. And I’m sure that will play again this week.”

Chappell said he is a good wind player. With forecasts keeping winds high tomorrow, Chappell might find himself in a good spot to win his first ever PGA Tour title. He could become the fourth golfer to win his first PGA Tour event at Muirfield.

“(The biggest challenge was) just trusting the wind was going where it was supposed to be,” Chappell said. “Multiple times, you’re seeing the wind going the opposite way it is supposed to be.”

Chappell said on No. 14, the flag was pointed to him but the wind was going right to left on his approach shot. He trusted his instinct and landed the ball 14 feet from the hole. Unfortunately for him, he left his putt just short and settled for par.

Despite shooting 4 over Saturday, Haas remains in contention just three strokes behind Kuchar. Haas thinks he needs to shoot at least 4 under Sunday to have an opportunity to win his first title since last year’s Northern Trust Open.

“Pretty tough day, but the greens were soft,” Haas said. “It was tough, just as tough as the first two days, but I just didn’t make the par saves I needed to make. A few birdie putts I didn’t make. Overall, I didn’t feel like I played all that bad.”

If the wind continues to blow, scoring could remain high and leave Sunday’s final round a crap shoot.

MATCH RECAP COURTESY OF COLUMBUSWIRED.NET

Tiger Woods had a record day at The Memorial in a negative way

 
Courtesy Justin Boggs, Columbus Wired

DUBLIN, Ohio – It is looking like Tiger Woods will not repeat as Memorial champion. That obvious statement is courtesy of Woods shooting a 44 on his first nine marking his PGA Tour worst nine-hole total as he started his third round on No. 10. Woods had a pair of double bogeys and a triple bogey to start of a dreadful Saturday.

Woods recovered from disastrous start with birdies on Nos. 1, 2, and 5 but bogeys on Nos. 6 and 9 dropped him to seven over for the round and eight over for the tournament.

Following his bogeying on No. 9, Woods bolted past the media and fans and went straight to the clubhouse with nothing to say. Later, Woods discussed his round privately with the PGA Tour public relations staff.

“It was a rough day,” Woods said. “It was tough out there from beginning to end. We didn’t hit many bad shots starting out the day and the next thing you know, we are quite a few over par.”

Woods’ triple bogey on the par-4 No. 18 was epic. His tee shot was right where he needed it to be but his approach shot landed short of the hole. His third shot hit the green but rolled by back to where his third shot. After finally landing his fourth shot on the green, he three-putted from 4 feet.

His 79 tied his worst round in a non-major with the 7-over he shot at the Quail Hollow Championship in 2010. Shooting a 79 marked his worst Memorial Tournament round by three strokes. His previous worst round at Muirfield Village was a 76 he shot in 2003 in the third round.

“It’s just one of those things where I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggled out there,” Woods said. “The conditions were tough. When I missed, it cost me. I caught the wrong gusts at the wrong time, made a couple bad swings, and call in all, it just went the wrong way.”

Woods only hit 9 out of 18 greens in regulation.

Early morning drama

The World’s No. 2 golfer Rory McIlroy needed some heroics to make the weekend cut very early Saturday morning. After Friday evening’s rain delay which caused McIlroy to play his final five holes of his second round Saturday morning, he came out of the gate with a pair of bogeys to put him at the cut line at 3 over.

When he got to No. 18, he needed to par a rather difficult hole to avoid being cut for the second straight year. His tee shot on 18 found the fairway bunker and his approach shot landed shot of the green. He hit his third shot within four feet of the hole giving him an opportunity make par and keep him around for the weekend.

McIlroy’s day was downhill from there. He shot 3 over for a round of 75 Saturday afternoon and is well out of contention. It was certainly not a banner day for those at the top of the World Golf Rankings.

Contender a former Nicklaus honoree

When Kevin Chappell walked into the large media conference room at Muirfield Village, he had a surprised look saying, “I’ve been in here before.” Just five years ago, he was on the very same stage not as a professional, but as a top collegiate player accepting the Jack Nicklaus Award.

Chappell’s earned a return to the large room by posting an impressive 4 under round Saturday to be at 6 under for the tournament. Chappell is in the final threesome Sunday as he is two strokes behind leader Matt Kuchar.

Chappell, a UCLA alum, had played in the NCAA National Championship the day before at Purdue University. He hopped in a car and accepted the award.

“It’s great to be back here,” Chappell said. “That got me a sponsor invite the following year. I didn’t have much success that following year. But I feel comfortable here. It’s probably one of the events I played the most on Tour. It will be my first time. And there’s a comfort level with this place.”

Though Chappell has never won in the PGA Tour, winning an NCAA National Title is as pressure packed as any tournament. Chappell is confident heading into Sunday’s final round.

“I’ve had some success in the wind and had some failure in the wind,” Chappell said. “But overall, I feel I have good ball control right now, I have a good game plan and it paid off.”

COURTESY OF COLUMBUSWIRED.NET
LOGO COURTESY MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT

MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT: Matt Kuchar forges through to take third round lead

Matt Kuchar (photo by Bluedogtn, Steven Newton via wikipedia commons)

2013 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance

(The 23rd of 36 events in the PGA TOUR Season)

 

Dublin, Ohio May 27 – June 2, 2013                                   FedExCup Points: 500

Muirfield Village Golf Club       Par/Yardage: 36-36—72/7,352                        Purse: $6,200,000 ($1,116,000)

 

Third-Round Notes – Saturday, June 1, 2013

 

Weather: Mostly cloudy with a high of 83 degrees. Winds SSW 10-15 mph, with gusts to 30 mph.

 

The final round will be played in threesomes of tee Nos. one and 10, between 10:40 a.m. and 12:40 p.m.

 

Third-Round Leaderboard

1    Matt Kuchar            68-70-70—208 (-8)

T2   Kevin Chappell        71-71-68—210 (-6)

T2   Kyle Stanley           67-70-73—210 (-6)

 

Matt Kuchar

Coming off his sixth career, runner-up finish at last week’s Colonial Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Matt Kuchar finds himself in good position to claim his sixth top-10 finish in 14 starts this season.

 

With 35 top-10 finishes since 2010 headed into this week, Kuchar has led the PGA TOUR in that category since the start of that season.

 

In seven previous starts at the Memorial, Kuchar has four top-10 finishes, each coming in the last four years; 2008/T10, 2009/T5, 2010/T8 and 2011/T2.

 

Kuchar is looking for his fifth career PGA TOUR win and second of the season. In February, he defeated Hunter Mahan in the finals of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.

 

Kuchar has previously held at least a share of the 54-hole lead two times, most recently at last week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, where he finished second. He won the 2009 Turning Stone Championship after holding a share of the 54-hole lead.

 

Third-Round Leader Notes

The leader/co-leader of the Memorial Tournament going into what would be the final round has gone on to win 17 times since the event’s 1976 inception. Vijay Singh was the 36-hole leader in 1997, when the event was shortened to 54 holes. Greg Norman was the 54-hole leader in 1990 when the event was shortened to 54 holes due to inclement weather.

 

The third-round leader/co-leader has parlayed that lead into victory 10 of 20 times so far this year on the PGA TOUR, most recently by Tiger Woods at THE PLAYERS Championship.

 

Kevin Chappell

Making his fourth start at the Memorial, Kevin Chappell posted the low round of the day with a 4-under 68 to claim a share of second place with Kyle Stanley at 6-under. Chappell, who finished T37 at Muirfield Village in 2011, missed the cut in 2009 and 2012.

 

Chappell is making his 15th start of the season this week, where he has made seven cuts and collected a pair of top-10 finishes. In his first start of the season, he finished T8 at the Humana Challenge, and in March improved to T6 at the Shell Houston Open.

 

Chappell, who joined the PGA TOUR in 2011, remains in search of his first PGA TOUR win in his 77th TOUR start. His best finish is a T2 at the 2011 Valero Texas Open. Only four players have made the Memorial Tournament their maiden PGA TOUR victory: Keith Fergus (1981), Kenny Perry (1991), Tom Lehman (1994) and Justin Rose (2010).

 

Kyle Stanley

Kyle Stanley is making his 15th start of the season this week, having collected two top-10 finishes, both of which have come in his last four starts. He finished third at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and T6 a week later at the Wells Fargo Championship. Stanley is coming off a missed cut at last week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

 

Stanley is playing in the Memorial for the third time. He finished T37 in 2011 and missed last year’s cut at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

 

Bill Haas

In 13 previous starts this season, Bill Haas has missed just three cuts. He wasn’t around for the weekend at the Humana Challenge in his second start of the year and missed the cut in both starts headed into this week at the Wells Fargo Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship.

 

Haas has five top-10 finishes so far in 2013, including a T3 at the Northern Trust Open, where he missed out on a playoff with Charlie Beljan and John Merrick by one stroke in an effort to defend his 2012 title. Haas has wins in each of the last three seasons.

 

Haas is making his eighth start at the Memorial, with a best finish of T30 in 2008. He missed the cut at Muirfield last year.

 

Charl Schwartzel
Charl Schwartzel has three top 10s this season in nine starts, tying his career-best on TOUR from 2010 and 2011. Schwartzel is here this week in search of his second career win on TOUR (2011 Masters).

 

Of his nine previous starts on TOUR in 2013, Schwartzel’s lone missed cut came at last week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. A week earlier, he finished third at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

 

Schwartzel is making his sixth start at the Memorial, and has yet to miss a cut. His best finish of T19 came last year.

 

Should Schwartzel win, he would become just the eighth international player to win at Muirfield Village Golf Club in the event’s 37-year history. The most recent international winner of the Memorial was Justin Rose in 2010.

 

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods struggled in round three with a career-high-tying, 7-over 79 (in a non-major). He posted the same score in round two of the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship.

 

 

Woods has recorded three rounds in the 80s on the PGA TOUR as an amateur or professional:

85 (+15)            1995 U.S. Open (amateur)

81 (+10)            2002 British Open

80 (+8)              1994 Arnold Palmer Invitational (amateur)

 

Woods played his first nine holes today in 8-over 44 (Nos. 10-18), his highest 9-hole score as a professional by a stroke.

 

Previous highest 9-hole score as a professional (43):

2010 Wells Fargo Championship – R2, back nine (79)

2007 Arnold Palmer Invitational – R4, back nine (76)

1996 TOUR Championship – R2, front nine (78)

 

Today marked the 21st time in his career Woods posted a 9-hole score of 40 or higher.

 

In today’s third round, Woods took double bogeys on Nos. 12 and 15, and a triple bogey at No. 18. The only other time he has done that in the span of nine holes was on the back nine in the final round of the 2007 Arnold Palmer Invitational en route to a 43 (finished with a 76).The last time Woods posted three double bogeys-or-worse in a round was in round one of the 2011 PGA Championship (MC).

 

Woods’ round of 79 was just his third over-par score in 27 rounds this year. He posted a 1-over 73 in round two of the Masters (T4) and a 4-over 74 in the final round of The Honda Classic (T37).

 

Today’s third round marked just the 20th time in his career Woods has started at least one of his two weekend rounds on hole No. 10. This is his 302nd career start on TOUR. Woods’ only other back-nine start on the weekend at the Memorial came in round three in 1997 (T67).

 

Fred Couples

Making his 22nd start at the Memorial Tournament dating to 1982, American Team Presidents Cup Captain Fred Couples will begin the final round T20 at –1. It’s his best position beginning the final round at Muirfield since holding a share of the 54-hole lead in 2005 (finished second).

 

Couples is making his third start of the TOUR season this week and 608th overall. After a T46 at the Northern Trust Open in February, he claimed T13 honors at the Masters. In four Champions Tour starts, he has collected three top-5 finishes.

 

Miscellaneous Notes

En route to his 4-over 76, Stewart Cink got off to an up-and-down start in round three, making just a single par on his first 10 holes; bogey-bogey-par-bogey-birdie-birdie-birdie-bogey-bogey-bogey.

 

Bogey-Free rounds:

R1: None

R2: None

R3: None

 

Scoring averages at the par-72 Muirfield Village Golf Club

Front 9             Back 9              Total                Cumulative

R1:       36.225              36.775              73.000              –

R2:       36.289              37.842              74.132              73.439

R3:       36.904              36.699              73.603              73.394

 

PRESS RELEASE COURTESY OF PGA TOUR COMMUNICATIONS

Memorial Tournament partial Second Round Notes

2013 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance
(The 23rd of 36 events in the PGA TOUR Season)

Dublin, Ohio May 27 – June 2, 2013                                   FedExCup Points: 500
Muirfield Village Golf Club       Par/Yardage: 36-36—72/7,352                        Purse: $6,200,000 ($1,116,000)

Partial Second -Round Notes – Friday, May 31, 2013

Weather: Partly cloudy with occasional light rain throughout the day (.20 inches). Temperatures reached a high in the upper 80s with winds SSW at 15-30 mph, gusting to 40 mph. Play was suspended at 2:36 p.m. due to dangerous conditions. Players were held in position and play resumed at 2:58 p.m. Play was delayed again at 4:49 p.m. and resumed at 6:16 p.m. Play was suspended for the day at 7:07 p.m. due to dangerous conditions and heavy rains approaching with 42 players yet to finish the second round.

Players will be back in position on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. to complete the second round. If round 2 is completed without further delays, players will be repaired and grouped in threesome starting off of the 1st and 10th holes with times beginning at estimated 9:30 a.m. and leaders teeing off at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The Memorial has experienced weather delays in seven of the last eight years.

Second-Round Leaderboard

1    Bill Haas                 68-67—135 (-9)

T2   Matt Kuchar            68-70—138 (-6)

T2   Charl Schwartzel      65-        -6 thru 15 (1-over on the day)

T2   Bubba Watson        71-        -6 thru 14 (5-under on the day)

T2   Kyle Stanley            67-        -6 thru 13 (1-under on the day)

6    Scott Stallings        70-        -5 thru 13 (3-under on the day)

 

Bill Haas

Bill Haas shot a second round 67 and recorded back-to-back rounds in the 60s at The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance for the first time in his 26 career rounds at the event. In seven previous trips to Muirfield Village Golf Club, Haas had two rounds in the 60s and has never finished inside the top 25. Haas’ 36-hole total – 68-67—135 – is seven strokes better than his previous best at this event when he opened 71-71 in 2011.

 

If his lead should hold, it would be the fourth time in Haas’ PGA TOUR career that he has led or shared the lead following the second round. Of the previous three occasions, he has gone on to win once (2010 Viking Classic). The last 36-hole lead for Haas was this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational where he finished T8. The second-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 6 of 21 PGA TOUR events this year.

 

Haas has five top-10 finishes so far in 2013, including a T3 at the Northern Trust Open where he missed out on a playoff with Charlie Beljan and John Merrick by one stroke in an effort to defend his 2012 title. Haas has wins in each of the last three seasons.

 

Although he missed his previous two cuts on the PGA TOUR at the Wells Fargo Championship and THE PLAYERS, Haas has had a great month of May off the course as he and his wife, Julie, celebrated the birth of their first child as their son, William, was born on May 13. Haas’ father, Jay, played in The Memorial Tournament 29 times in his career and holds the tournament record for most rounds under par (68), most cuts made (27) and most top-10 finishes (9). Bill once caddied for his father at the event.

 

Bill Haas is the third player since 1983 to go birdie-eagle-birdie on holes 4-5-6. Jeff Maggert in 2010 (R2) was the last player to accomplish the feat.

 

Matt Kuchar

Coming off the 6th runner-up finish of his career at last week’s Colonial Plaza Invitational, Matt Kuchar finished the second round at 6-under-par and is three off the pace set by Bill Haas.

 

Kuchar has yet to miss a cut in 2013. His last missed cut came at the 2012 PGA Championship, a span of 17 events. Since the start of the 2010 season, Kuchar has missed just five cuts in 86 tournaments.

 

Kuchar is no stranger to success at The Memorial. In seven previous attempts at the event, he has four top-10 finishes, all of which have happened in the last four times he has teed it up at Muirfield Village (2008/T10, 2009/T5, 2010/T8 and 2011/T2).

 

 

Kuchar leads all players on the TOUR in top-10 finishes since the start of the 2010 season. Top-10 finishes on TOUR since 2010:

Player                                     2013       2012     2011     2010     Total

Kuchar, Matt                            5            9          9          11         34

Donald, Luke                           2            8          14         7          31

Watney, Nick                           2            5          10         8          25

Snedeker, Brandt                     6            7          7          5          25

Stricker, Steve                         3            7          5          9          24

Johnson, Dustin                      2            9          6          7          24

Simpson, Webb                       3            7          12         2          24

Van Pelt, Bo                            0            10         5          8          23

Day, Jason                              4            4          10         5          23

McIlroy, Rory                           4            10         4          5          23

Mickelson, Phil                        3            7          7          6          23

 

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson is one of 42 players not to finish the second round as play was suspended. Watson is 6-under on the day thru 14 holes and T2. Watson is playing in the Memorial Tournament for the eighth time in his career — he twice finished T23 (2007 & 2009) for his best career finish at the event. Watson is looking for his first top-10 finish this season since a T9 at the Accenture Match Play Championship in February and his first top-10 finish in a stroke-play event since a T4 to start the season at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

 

Kyle Stanley

Kyle Stanley is 6-under-par and tied for second thru 13 holes as play was suspended, three shots off the lead. After winning the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Stanley went 34 events before his next top-10 finish. Since missing the cut at this year’s RBC Heritage, Stanley has finished 3rd at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, T6 at the Wells Fargo Championship, T33 at THE PLAYERS Championship before missing the cut at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial last week.

 

Stanley is playing in the Memorial for the third time. His opening-round 67 was his first round in the 60s at Muirfield Village in his seventh career round.

 

Charl Schwartzel

First-round leader Charl Schwartzel is 6-under for the tournament thru 15 holes. Schwartzel has made eight of nine cuts on TOUR this season. His lone missed cut came last week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial after opening rounds of 70. He has three top 10s this season, which is tied for his career-best on TOUR.

 

Schwartzel is making his sixth start at the Memorial. He has made the cut in each of his previous five starts. His best finish of T19 came last year.

 

Coming into the week, Schwartzel (69.566) was second on TOUR behind Tiger Woods (68.516) in scoring average.

 

Tiger Woods

Woods shot a 2-over 74 in the second round, one shy of his worst score at this event – a second-round 75 in 1997. Woods’ opening 36-hole score of 71-74—145 is his second-worst opening 36 holes at this event. He shot 72-75—147 in 1997.

 

Woods’ second-round 74 is just the third time since 1999, a span of 46 rounds that Woods has failed to shoot par or better at the Memorial.

 

Woods is the only player to win the Memorial Tournament five times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2009 and 2012). Kenny Perry won the Memorial Tournament three times (1991, 2003, 2008) while Jack Nicklaus (1977, 1984), Tom Watson (1979, 1996), Hale Irwin (1983, 1985) and Greg Norman (1990, 1995) all won twice.

 

Woods extends the longest active streak of consecutive cuts made at the Memorial having made the cut in each of his 14 times playing the event.

 

Woods largest comeback victory after 36 holes was nine strokes at the 1999 Farmers Insurance Open.

 

Miscellaneous Notes

2010 Memorial champion Justin Rose is T7 through 14 holes (4-under). Rose is looking for his 5th top-10 finish at this event in his ninth time playing. Rose has three top-10 finishes this year included a runner-up finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

 

14-year-old Guan Tianlang shot an even-par 72 in the first round, but a second-round 7-over-79 will likely mean a missed cut. Guan caught the attention of the golfing world at the Masters in April, which he qualified for by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. As the only amateur to make the cut, Guan took home Augusta National’s Silver Cup for low amateur honors. He is the youngest player to ever compete at the Masters and is the youngest to ever make a cut on TOUR. The fourth-youngest player to ever make a start in a PGA TOUR event came back two weeks later with a 71st place finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and later missed the cut at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

 

Other than Roger Maltbie in the inaugural edition of the Memorial Tournament in 1976, no player has won the event in their first start.

 

Only four players have made the Memorial Tournament their maiden PGA TOUR victory: Keith Fergus (1981), Kenny Perry (1991), Tom Lehman (1994) and Justin Rose (2010).

 

In the 37-year history of the Memorial Tournament, only seven International players have won at Muirfield Village Golf Club, most recently Justin Rose in 2010.

 

Bogey-Free rounds:

R1: None

R2: TBD

 

Scoring averages at the par-72 Muirfield Village Golf Club

Front 9             Back 9              Total                Cumulative

Thursday           36.225              36.775              73.000              –

Friday               N/A

 

Please visit www.pgatourmedia.com for further information.

PRESS RELEASE COURTESY PGA TOUR COMMUNICATIONS

LOGO COURTESY OF MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT

Bill Haas takes second round leader at Memorial

Golf is in the blood of Bill Haas.

The Charlotte native caddied for his father, Jay, who has played in 29 Memorial Tournaments. His uncle, Jerry, played on the PGA Tour and his great uncle, Bob Goalby, won the 1968 Masters.

The four-time PGA Tour winner shot a 5-under, 67 Friday, to lead the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club after two rounds. He sits at nine-under, three strokes better than Matt Kuchar, Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson and Kyle Stanley.

The second round was suspended for a third and final time a little after 7 p.m. with 42 players still on the course. The second round will pick up at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Bill Haas (courtesy PGA Tour)

Haas had the advantage of playing in the afternoon on Thursday and in the morning on Friday where the weather conditions were prime.

“It maybe was even a bit hair more difficult today,” Haas said. “Maybe the wind blew the same direction, which helps, and the speed was about the same. But those greens are lighting fast. With the wind and fast greens, it’s very difficult to make putts. I was fortunate to have a few go in.”

His success on par five’s allowed Haas to make his move. He started the day a stroke behind first round leader, Schwartzel, but eagled No. 5 and birdied Nos. 11 and 15—all par fives. In all, Haas had five birdies, two bogeys and the eagle.

“If you hit nice tee shots, if you keep it down the left side there, like on No. 11, it’s a reachable hole,” Haas said. “But if you hit the ball right, you can’t get there and it’s a tough layup and a tough green to hit one close with a wedge.”

His back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 put him at 10-under, but he hit the rough on No. 18 and settled for a bogey and the nine-under going into the clubhouse.

“It was disappointing because it probably was my best iron shot, but it carried a little farther that I wanted and stayed up over the green,” Haas said.

Kuchar trails Haas by three strokes after shooting a two-under, 70.

Schwartzel, who started the round seven-under, fall back into the pack with three bogeys in his first 10 holes. Scott Stallings is alone at 5-under. Robert Karlsson, Justin Rose and Charlie Wi are 4-under.

Kuchar is having a sold 2013 season with five top-10 finishes. He won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in February and was the runner-up last weekend at Colonial. He’s currently third in the FedEx Cup Standings.

“I’m pleased,” Kuchar said. “My game has been good for a while. I had to good rounds here and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Due to high threats of rain on Saturday afternoon, Tour officials announced that play will begin on the first and 10th tees and that tee times could start earler in the morning.

 

MATCH RECAP COURTESY OF COLUMBUSWIRED.NET

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