Dufner surges at Memorial, Nordqvist aims for hat-trick

DUBLIN (Ohio) • Jason Dufner threatened to run away with the Memorial tournament, carding a second successive seven-under 65 to surge to a five-shot lead after the second round on Friday.

Buoyed by an eagle at the par-four 18th, his ninth hole, Dufner posted a tournament record-low 36-hole total of 14-under 130 at Muirfield Village.

Fellow American Daniel Summerhays (69) bogeyed the last, but still finished the day in second place on nine-under, with compatriot Rickie Fowler (66) a shot behind.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson followed up his opening 78 with a 74 and missed the cut, two weeks before defending his US Open title.

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"I'd have liked to have hit a couple more fairways but hit my irons when I was in the fairways pretty good. I made some nice pars and rolled in some putts, " Dufner said.

Dufner, whose four PGA Tour victories include a Major at the 2013 PGA Championship, has long enjoyed a reputation as a premier ball-striker whose putting does not always match his long game.

But he has not yet missed a putt from inside 10 feet, a feat he credits to recent work with a putting training device.

"It not only helps me with my stroke but also helps with my set-up," he said.

In New Jersey, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist got off to a hot start in her bid for a third straight LPGA ShopRite Classic crown on Friday with a seven-under 64.

Nordqvist birdied her first three holes at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club and finished the day with a one-stroke lead over South Koreans Lee Jeong Eun and Jenny Shin, Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn and American Jennifer Song.

With a change at the top of the world rankings looming on Sunday (tomorrow, Singapore time), South Korea's Ryu So Yeon made little headway in making sure she is the one to supplant world No. 1 Lydia Ko at the end of the tournament.

According to LPGA projections, Ko's reign will end this week with either Ryu or Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn taking over.

Neither Ko nor Ariya are playing this week's 54 hole event.

World No. 3 Ryu, who needs to finish at least third to have a chance to reach No. 1, opened with a three-over 74.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 04, 2017, with the headline 'Dufner surges at Memorial, Nordqvist aims for hat-trick'. Print Edition | Subscribe