Credit: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK
Billy Horschel shot a 7-under 65 to jump ahead of the field and take a five-stroke lead on Saturday in the third round of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
Horschel went bogey-free for the second straight round at Muirfield Village Golf Club to hit 13 under for the week, five strokes better than Aaron Wise (69) and Australia’s Cameron Smith (72).
Daniel Berger (67), Italy’s Francesco Molinari (70) and Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas (71) tied for fourth at 7 under.
Horschel came out of a greenside bunker on the first hole for a birdie 3 from nearly 45 feet away. It was the first of his seven birdies of the day, including all four par-5 holes. He went through the last 44 holes bogey-free.
“I’m very aware of everything I’ve done on the golf course, and I feel very comfortable right now with what we’re doing on the golf course,” Horschel said. “I’m not really worried about the score, I’m not really worried about the outcome of the golf shot, just worried about the process that (caddie Mark Fulcher) and I are trying to do, and I think if we do it right, and I look like a broken record, but if I do that, it allows me to swing better, and it gets better results.
The 35-year-old is now in contention for his first PGA Tour title since WGC-Match Play 2021. The veteran is sleeping on a big lead, but not on the work that remains ahead of him.
“I just go to the tee (Sunday) knowing I’m leading the tournament, I know I have as many shots as I have in front of me,” Horschel said. “I’m just going out, trying to play a really good game of golf. I’m not going to be protective, I’m not going to be too aggressive. I will play as I have done for the last three days.
Smith, who held a share of the first lap lead and was leading alone after two days, fired an equal lap but saw Horschel overtake him. He had a rocky start with bogeys on his first two holes before finally recovering.
“You never know what this course is going to bring you,” Smith said. “Anything can really happen here. I think the course layout was great today. I hope to have another day like this where there are birdie opportunities.
Wise had four birdies and just one bogey to join Smith in a tie for second. His only tour win came at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson.
Patrick Cantlay (69 Saturday), Chilean Joaquin Niemann (70), Luke List (72), Davis Riley (72) and Denny McCarthy (73) are tied at five for seventh place at under 6. McCarthy briefly held the lead Saturday birding twice on his first four holes, but bugged five of the last 11.
Cantlay, the defending Memorial champion and 2021 FedEx Cup winner, started his day with a double bogey on the first hole before adding two eagles to his card. He participated about 43 feet from the green on the par-5 seventh and made an improbable 64-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (73) and Will Zalatoris (71) are part of a tie for 15th at 4 under. Jordan Spieth (69), Max Homa (70) and Australia’s Jason Day (68) are among those tied for 19th at 3 under.
Day started his round well with holes off the green on consecutive holes. He eagled the par-4 third hole from 141 yards and birdied the par-3 fourth hole on a long chip-in from the green.
–Field level media