Rory McIlroy has moved to the lead in the Memorial despite going five holes without hitting a green, finishing the third day tied in first place with Si Woo Kim and David Lipsky at Muirfield Village on Saturday.
McIlroy did what he had to do while players around him struggled, finishing the day with two under par with four birdies and two bogeys.
“That’s what happens when conditions are like this,” McIlroy said after the day’s play. “You just have to hang on.
“I was really happy with how I scored out there, and how I just sort of hung in there for most of the day.”
The birdies came in good time for McIlroy, picking up three on the last seven holes, and finishing the day with a par, unlike he did on day one, when he hit a triple bogey on the 18th hole.
“It would mean a ton to me to win this tournament, I’ve played pretty well here over the years without really having a realistic chance to win,” McIlroy said.
“So to be able to walk up that hill from 18 and get that handshake from Jack (Nicklaus) would be pretty nice.”
McIlroy, now on six under par, will need to maintain his form into the last day with a log-jam of talent at the top of the leaderboard, with thirteen players separated by just two shots and nine others within three shots.
Leaderboard heading into Sunday @MemorialGolf
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 3, 2023
Friday’s leader and former Memorial winner, Hideki Matsuyama dropped dramatically in consistency, putting him in tied ninth place.
Matsuyama had five bogeys during the day and a triple bogey on the 12th hole.
Englishmen Danny Willet and Matt Fitzpatrick both had solid days with 69 and 70 respectively, finishing tied in 23rd place on two under par.