Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bubba Watson leads PGA Tour's Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio — Bubba Watson has been coming to Muirfield Village since his rookie year on the PGA Tour. Nine years later, he might have finally figured it out.

He had only five rounds in the 60s in his previous eight trips. Even with bogey on his final hole Saturday, he had 3-under 69 for his third straight round in the 60s this week. Watson is 11 under on the par 5s, the key to scoring.

Best of all, he walked off the course with 12-under 204 and a one-shot lead over Scott Langley in the Memorial. Not bad for a guy who has never finished better than a tie for 23rd.

"It's all about maturity," said Watson, who is in position for his third win of the year. "Thinking around the golf course a lot better. It's my ninth year on tour, so better thinking on the golf course is creating better shots. Hitting a lot more greens. Hitting a lot more fairways. Putting a little better this year. When you add all that up, it turns into better scores."

With bogey on the final hole, Watson's lead shrunk to one shot over Langley, who had 67 to make it an all-southpaw final pairing today. Langley has not been in the final group since his rookie debut two years ago in Honolulu.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan made birdie on his last hole for 69 and was two shots behind. Adam Scott, the No. 1 player in the world and coming off a win at the Colonial last week, made eagle on the 15th that sparked another surge up the leaderboard. With bogey on the last hole, he had 68 and still was only three shots behind.

"It's going to be tough," Scott said about his three-shot deficit to the Masters champion. "He's playing great this year, and I just have to post a number. I'm in a good position where I can possibly post a number, and that makes life a little harder for the leader."

Paul Casey started Saturday with a three-shot lead. That was gone in three holes when Watson made two birdies, and Casey missed more than his share of putts that keep rounds together. He ended with double bogey for 76. He still was in range, however, part of a large group at 8-under 208.

CHAMPIONS: Doug Garwood shot 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa. Garwood had 11-under 133 total at Wakonda Club. Michael Allen, the Allianz Championship winner in February, was second after 66. Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Pernice were 9 under. Calcavecchia had 69 and Pernice shot 67.

LPGA: Stacy Lewis moved into position to take the top spot in the world, shooting a bogey-free 8-under 63 to break the 36-hole record in the ShopRite Classic in Galloway Township, N.J. The second-ranked Lewis was at 12-under 130 on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club. A victory today would guarantee Lewis the No. 1 ranking, which Inbee Park has held for 59 straight weeks. Christina Kim was a stroke back after 67. First-round leader Jennifer Johnson followed her course-record 63 with 70 to finish at 10 under.