Fowler opens 3-shot lead in Memorial
DUBLIN, Ohio — Rickie Fowler knew rain-softened Muirfield Village was giving up birdies, even if there was none on his card as he approached the turn yesterday with his lead dwindling.
Fowler pounced with a shot that showed his age — 21 — isn't the only thing that sets him apart.
From a distance in the ninth fairway that typically called for a pitching wedge — 125 yards, slightly downhill to a front pin just beyond the water — Fowler opted for a punch 9-iron that would keep the ball from spinning too much and possibly going into the water.
"I wasn't going to throw a pitching wedge and have the ball spinning very much," Fowler said. "It was like a cut-off 9, start the ball left, try to hit it down and had a little cut in there."
It stopped 6 feet behind the hole for his first birdie, and he was on his way.
Unfazed by six hours of rain delays or the 62 that Ricky Barnes shot — playing with Tiger Woods, no less — Fowler completed another round without a bogey and shot 3-under 69 to build a three-shot lead over Barnes and Tim Petrovic.
Fowler was at 16-under 200 and had the largest 54-hole lead at Memorial since Woods led by six in 2000.
Champions Tour: Nick Price topped the second-round leaderboard again in the Principal Charity Classic, shooting a 6-under 65 to match Tommy Armour III at 10-under 132 in the Champions Tour event at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Price lost the two years he held at least a share of the second-round lead in this event. Armour followed his opening 63 with a 69.
Wales Open: Germany's Marcel Siem shot a 5-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Wales Open at Newport, Wales, while Scotland's Stephen Gallacher broke the course record with a 63.
Siem had an 11-under 202 total on Celtic Manor's Twenty Ten Course.
NCAA men: An ill Taylor Floyd birdied the 18th hole of The Honors Course at Chattanooga, Tenn., to win his match while Henrik Norlander eagled the 17th to take another and send sixth-seeded Augusta State past second-seeded Florida State, 4-1, and into its first NCAA tournament finals.
The Jaguars will play top-ranked Oklahoma State, which defeated No. 5 Oregon, 3-1-1.