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Jon Rahm comes up aces and takes 36-hole Memorial lead

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Defending champion Jon Rahm took useless intention with an 8-iron that dropped for an ace Saturday morning, sending him to a 7-under 65 and a two-shot lead within the Memorial.

Rahm was amongst 44 gamers who needed to full the second spherical within the rain-delayed occasion at Muirfield Village. He left Friday night time having tapped in a 2-foot birdie putt on the thirteenth gap that had him tied with Patrick Cantlay, who completed his spherical Friday.

Rahm took bogey from the bunker on the 14th, didn’t birdie the par-5 fifteenth, and this his fortunes turned in a rush. He hit 8-iron over the bunker on the sixteenth gap, and it landed in entrance of the pin and dropped for a hole-in-one.

Rahm tossed his membership, this time in celebration.

A birdie on the seventeenth and a closing par put him at 10-under 134, two pictures forward of Cantlay.

The situation was not misplaced on Rahm. It was a yr in the past when Rahm chipped in for an obvious birdie behind the sixteenth inexperienced, just for it to change into a bogey when video confirmed he induced his ball to barely transfer earlier than hitting it. That affected solely his margin of victory.

“I used to be strolling down after I picked up the ball, I’m, like, ‘Properly, that’s some good karma and payback from final yr,’” Rahm stated he advised his caddie.

Nonetheless to be decided is whether or not Rahm can be a part of Tiger Woods as the one repeat winners on the Memorial since Jack Nicklaus created this match in 1976. Woods received the final of his three straight titles 20 years in the past.

“I’m main the match after 36, so, yeah, I’m in a superb place,” Rahm stated. “I have been doing lots of backdoor high 10s and I am glad I am in competition for as soon as.”

Collin Morikawa, who received at Muirfield Village final yr within the first of back-to-back occasions on the membership due to the pandemic, had a triple bogey on the par-3 twelfth gap and bounced again Saturday morning with a pair of birdies for a 72. He was 4 pictures behind at 6-under 130, together with Max Homa (69), Xander Schauffele (70) and Scottie Scheffler (71).

Rickie Fowler had a 70 and was within the group at 5-under 131. That is the primary time Fowler has opened with consecutive rounds below par since he went 70-70 on the Masters final November. Fowler faces U.S. Open qualifying on Monday except he can end alone in second.

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