Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stricker's big lead shrinks

Steve Stricker begins his round with good cheer after holing out for eagle on the par-4 second hole.

Getty Images

Steve Stricker begins his round with good cheer after holing out for eagle on the par-4 second hole.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Steve Stricker holed out from the fairway for one of his two eagles Saturday and wound up with 3-under 69 on a steamy afternoon at Muirfield Village and finished with a three-shot lead in the Memorial.

He still had to convince himself it was a good day.

Right when it looked as though Stricker might leave everyone in his wake, he missed a 4-foot birdie on the 14th hole. He bogeyed the par-5 15th, then missed a 4-foot par putt on No. 16 and had a 7-foot birdie on the next hole catch the lip. And when he arrived at his ball in the middle of the 18th fairway, it was in a sand-filled divot.

Stricker saved par, and perspective soon followed.

"All of a sudden, things seemed pretty hard, when at the start of the day, things were really going my way," he said. "But I understand that, and I understand that's the nature of this game. So you add them up at the end, and it was a 69. And it was a good score."

Stricker holed out for eagle from 113 yards on No. 2 and had another eagle with a 3-iron into 6 feet on the par-5 fifth.

He was at 12-under 204, three shots clear of Jonathan Byrd heading to today's final round.

Byrd, who won the opener at Kapalua after playing in the final group with Stricker, hit his approach within 2 feet on No. 18 for birdie to cap 69. His only blunder came on the par-5 11th, his only bogey in 43 holes.

Matt Kuchar dropped two shots in his last four holes and settled for 68. That put him in a tie for third with Brandt Jobe (69), four shots behind.

Rory McIlroy was still in the hunt. After double bogey on the par-3 fourth, the 22-year-old rolled in a long eagle putt on the 15th and wound up with 71. He was 10 shots behind with six holes to play, then drew within five shots by the end.

"Even though I didn't play my best stuff (Saturday), I'm still in a decent position going into (today)," McIlroy said. "And that's all you can ask for."

He was at 7-under 209, along with former PGA champion Shaun Micheel (67) and Mark Wilson (66).

Luke Donald, in his debut as No. 1 in the world, shot 73 and was eight shots behind in a tie for 17th. Four-time major champion Phil Mickelson (72) was 10 shots behind.

LPGA: Brittany Lincicome of Seminole had the round of the day, shooting 7-under 64 that featured seven birdies and no bogeys to jump into contention at the ShopRite Classic in Galloway Township, N.J. Cristie Kerr (65) birdied No. 18 for 8-under 134 total and a one-shot lead over Catriona Matthew after two rounds. Lincicome was third at 136. Matthew, 41, shot 67 and seeks to become the first player in her 40s to win on tour since Helen Alfredsson won in 2008 at 43. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse shot 68 and was at 140, tied for 14th.

CHAMPIONS: Mark Brooks shot 4-under 67 to lead Mark Calcavecchia by a stroke heading into the final round of the Principal Charity Classic in West Des Moines, Iowa. Brooks, who totaled 10-under 132, is vying for his first victory since the 1996 PGA Championship.

Stricker's big lead shrinks 06/04/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 4, 2011 9:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  2. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  3. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Steven Souza Jr., hugging Mallex Smith after Smith’s solo home run in the eighth inning, feels relief after tests are negative on his injured hip.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)