Dufner collapse leads to change at Memorial top

WASHINGTON • Golfer Daniel Summerhays seized a three-shot lead at the PGA Tour's Memorial tournament on Saturday as overnight leader Jason Dufner ballooned to five-over par 77 in the third round.

Dufner had started the day with a commanding five-shot lead over Summerhays at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. But Summerhays was tied for the lead after five holes following four bogeys for Dufner and his own birdie at the fifth.

He carded a 68 for a 13-under total of 203. He was three shots clear of 2014 Memorial champion Matt Kuchar (67).

"I drove it really well," said the 33-year-old American, who finished third at last year's PGA Championship. "I had so many good looks at birdie. So many putts were just so close. I really wasn't out of position too much all day."

Summerhays has held at least a share of the 54-hole lead three times on the PGA Tour, but has never won in 184 previous starts.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson signed for a 68 and headed a group on 207 that also included Justin Thomas and Dufner.

FAMILY COMES FIRST

As I look back on life, this is a moment I'll always cherish and be glad I was present.

PHIL MICKELSON, five-time Major champion, feels that his daughter's high school graduation is a milestone he cannot miss.

Dufner's dismal round included a double-bogey seven at the par-five 11th and a bogey at the 18th, where the 2013 PGA Championship winner was in the water off the tee. He was only one shot shy of the day's worst score posted by Scotland's Russell Knox as well as Australian duo Rod Pampling and Matthew Griffin.

Phil Mickelson shot a 72 to lie tied for 19th. The American, in search of his first win this year, said that he would withdraw from the upcoming US Open, the only Major championship he has not won, to attend his daughter Amanda's high school graduation.

"As I look back on life, this is a moment I'll always cherish and be glad I was present," said the five-time Major champion.

His wife, Amy, said she was proud of him. "Phil desperately, desperately wants to win the US Open," she said of a tournament he has finished runner-up six times. "I would have totally understood had he needed to play the US Open."

Mickelson has not officially withdrawn, but it seems only a first-round weather washout could allow him to participate.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2017, with the headline 'Dufner collapse leads to change at Memorial top'. Print Edition | Subscribe