Big names in pursuit of Steele, Kuchar

DUBLIN (Ohio) • Brendan Steele and Matt Kuchar made the most of Friday's calm conditions to share the halfway lead at golf's Memorial tournament, where the trio of Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth remained in the hunt heading into the weekend.

Steele backed up a first-round 65 with a five-under 67 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

Kuchar carded a second straight 66 to share the lead on 132.

They were one stroke in front of Argentina's Emiliano Grillo, who posted a 66, and American Gary Woodland, whose 65 was the low round of the day and included six birdies and an eagle.

"A lot of things are going right," Steele explained. "Obviously, conditions are really good."

"The conditions are still there for the taking," said Kuchar, who won the tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus in 2013. "It's as easy as I remember this place playing, even though the greens are still fast."

In a marquee duel, McIlroy and Spieth elicited roars as they combined for 14 birdies.

World No. 3 McIlroy carded a 66 to finish five shots behind the leaders in a tie for 12th, while Spieth, the world No. 2, had a 68 and was another stroke back in a tie for 22nd.

"I felt like I putted nicely," said McIlroy, who tied for the second-lowest round of the day.

"I feel like my pace has been a little bit better, which was something I wanted to work on."

World No. 1 Day, a Muirfield Village member, was in the group with McIlroy on 137 after a 71 that included five birdies and four bogeys.

Five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson was also on 137 after a 69 that included seven birdies.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 05, 2016, with the headline 'Big names in pursuit of Steele, Kuchar'. Print Edition | Subscribe