Levin leads by 1 at Memorial; Tiger falls 4 back
Dublin, OH (Sports Network) - Spencer Levin put together a three-under 69 in windy conditions on Saturday to move into the lead after 54 holes of the Memorial.
Levin finished three rounds at eight-under-par 208. He had a six-shot lead earlier this year in Phoenix after 54 holes, but closed with a 75 to end alone in third.
Second-round leader Rory Sabbatini managed a one-under 71 to slip into second place at minus-seven.
Rickie Fowler shot three-under 69 to climb into third at five-under-par 211.
Four-time winner Tiger Woods struggled to a one-over 73 at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Woods is alone in fourth at minus-four.
Woods grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie on the first. After Levin made an early run, Woods birdied the seventh to get within two at minus-seven.
Around the turn, Woods struggled to keep pace with the leader. He came up short at the 10th and that led to a bogey. Woods' tee shot on the par-three 12th stopped under the lip of a bunker, which forced him to play out sideways.
Woods pitched to 40 feet and two-putted for bogey. He got that stroke back with a four-foot birdie putt on the 13th, but three-putted for bogey at 16. Woods' approach at 18 came up just short and spun back down the fairway. He chipped to 10 feet, but two-putted for a closing bogey to end four back.
"I got a little tired at the end, but so be it. I had my opportunities to move up that board and I didn't do it on that back nine," Woods said in a televised interview. "I missed a few putts a should have made, but I'm still in the ball game. I'm only four back and anything can happen out here."
Sabbatini wrapped bogeys at one and three around a birdie on the second to slip to five-under.
As he was doing that, Levin birdied the second from 33 feet out to move to six-under. Levin chipped in for eagle at the fifth to push his lead to two strokes as Sabbatini birdied the same hole.
There was a two-stroke swing on the sixth as Levin rolled in a five-footer for birdie, while Sabbatini stumbled to a bogey to fall four back. Levin gave that stroke right back with a bogey on the seventh.
Levin nearly missed his par saving putt on the eighth, but it curled into the hole much to his delight.
"I pulled the putt real bad, I pulled the hell out of it, and I thought it was still going to lip out, but when it lipped in, it was like, 'wow'," Levin said in a television interview. "You can usually complain about a 360 lip out, but I wasn't going to complain on that one.
"It wasn't a good putt anyway, and I got lucky it went in."
Levin and Sabbatini, who were in the final group together, both birdied the ninth, while Levin chipped in for birdie on the 10th.
Sabbatini played his third to a foot on the par-five 11th and tapped in for birdie. Levin found sand off the tee at 12 and that led to a bogey, which cut his lead to two.
Levin's tee shot at the par-three 16th bounced through the green. He chipped to seven feet, but two-putted for bogey. Levin closed with a pair of pars to lead by one.
"I got off to a good start, I was four-under through six, and that's a nice way to settle your nerves," Levin said on TV. "I'm really happy to be in this position."
Sabbatini, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, parred the final seven holes to end one back.
NOTES: This is Levin's second 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour...Levin, Fowler and Vijay Singh were the only players to shoot in the 60s on Saturday...If he can rally for the win, Woods would match tournament host Jack Nicklaus with 73 PGA Tour titles, second most in tour history.