While Billy Horschel took the lead at the Memorial tournament in Ohio’s Muirfield Village, Australians Cameron Smith and Jason Day had moments to celebrate themselves.
Day, the 34-year-old former world No. 1, shot a four-under to have one of the day’s rounds to get back into the top 20.
The Australian enjoyed back-to-back holeouts, including a 142m eagle on the par-four third.
With his incredible iron-in, the Australian threw his arms in the air and smiled with delight, signaling yet another sign that the former PGA Championship winner is continuing his comeback after contemplating giving up the game.
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Fellow Australian Cameron Smith had an up-and-down lap and finished with an even 72 to finish second at eight-under, five shots behind Horschel.
Smith, bidding to become just the second player to win the Players Championship and Memorial Tournament in the same year, started the round with back-to-back bogeys.
But the short game wizard finished spectacularly, showing off his incredible chipping with a superb flop record at 18.
“Incredible. Absolutely fantastic. Wow,” said former big winner Nick Faldo.
“That’s the lob of the year.
“Speaking of attitude, decided to go for it and really get it done.”
His colleague added: “It’s genius. He threw it through all those little angles that could send it drastically to the right. Wow.”
“He’s going back tonight and somebody’s going to tell him, you know what Jack Nicklaus said about you today on the show. He was asked who is the best shredder he has ever seen and Jack said ‘you Cam, you.’”
The relaxed Australian was philosophical about his game after the round, but added that his best and worst were getting closer.
“Golf is a crazy game,” Smith said afterwards. “You have to try to get the most out of it. I feel like my good is really good, and my bad is getting better.
“There were a lot of not-so-good things out there today, and I just stayed in that,” the Australian added.
Managed to get a few birdies on that back nine, and just nice to get away with level par and keep myself in the tournament.”
Horschel fired off a brilliant seven-under-par 65 to take an impressive five-shot lead after the third round.
Horschel’s excellent short play resulted in seven birdies in a clear no bogey, with the American leading the standings after 54 holes with 13-under 203.
The 35-year-old number 17 in the world, chasing the seventh PGA Tour win of his career, set the tone for a spectacular round after hitting the 44-foot par-four first hole from just outside the green. claimed the first birdie. †
He rolled a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-five fifth, then grabbed another on the seventh when his 114-yard wedge landed within half a meter of the cup.
Another birdie followed on the par-3 eighth when Horschel’s tee shot gave him a six-foot putt, and three more birdies after the turn completed a beautiful round.
It was a stark contrast to Horschel’s outing at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Colonial last week, when he missed the weekend after missing the cut.
“I just don’t like to miss cuts, it’s that simple. I’m not missing much and when I do it drives me crazy,” said Horschel, who has only posted one bogey in three rounds this week.
“We just didn’t play well, the swing wasn’t good enough and the putting wasn’t good enough.
“I said this week, ‘Forget it. I’m going out and trying to win this thing’ and get back to the mindset that I’m one of the best players in the world and I can compete against anyone anywhere,” he added. ready.
Aaron Wise and second lap leader Smith lead the chasing pack, five shots off the lead at eight under.
Wise topped the standings with a 69, while Smith recovered from a bogey-bogey start to work his way up to a 72.
Daniel Berger jumped 20 places on the standings to tie for fourth place alongside Francesco Molinari and Jhonattan Vegas after a 67.
Berger, Molinari and Vegas are six in the lead. Behind them is a cluster of five players with six among them, including Patrick Cantlay, winner at Memorial in 2019 and 2021, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, Luke List, Davis Riley and Denny McCarthy.
Rory McIlroy struggled to a one-over 73 to get out of the fight four under, nine under pace.
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