Memorial Tournament Round 3 Notebook: Kirk overcomes final hole hiccup Friday to make cut

Memorial Coverage Presented by The TriState PGA.

Dublin, OH— Chris Kirk was right on the cutline number heading into his final hole Friday when his tee shot went all of 60 yards.

Kirk entered the week coming off good form tying for 11th at the Fort Worth Invitational, but Muirfield Village Golf Club does not understand past performance.

“It was kind of a strange scenario that happened at the end of my round yesterday obviously,” Kirk said. “I’ve been playing professional golf for 11 years now and crazy (expletive) happens, that’s for sure. I just got over it and didn’t let it bother me.”

Referencing the shot later on Twitter, Kirk admitted the 76 yards ShotLink gave him was generous and further admitted it was his fifth top on TOUR, all of which occurred with a 3-wood.

“I’ve never really been a great 3-wood player, but I’m better than I was in college,” he said. “I would hit a driver or a 2-iron, I never really would hit a 3-wood at all, but I try not to think about it too much. I hit a couple of nice 3-woods today actually with the same club. You can’t let (expletive) bother you like that, I guess.”

Kirk had to quickly recover on the ninth in order to save his par and remain in the cut, which is exactly what he did.

“I hit a five-iron out of the rough, thankfully it wasn’t as bad of a lie as some you can get out here, so hit a five-iron to where the drive was supposed to go,” said Kirk. “Thankfully hit a good wedge shot from there and made a nice putt from 10-12 feet. I’ve had a lot of weird scenarios in my career, so you just shrug your shoulders, laugh at yourself a bit and keep going.”

Kirk could not up with his weirdest moment in his professional career, but this certainly ranks up among potential top contenders.

Turning the page, Kirk was able to score low Saturday firing a 6-under par 66, which tied for his lowest round at Muirfield Village in what was his 23rd career round at the Memorial Tournament. The other 66 occurred during 2014’s first round.

“It was nice to get out early today with perfect conditions and perfect greens,” Kirk said.

While he did seemingly downplay the moment, a smiled remained on his face the entire time recounting the shot. Still, Kirk understands he is fortunate to be playing the weekend.

“Thankfully it worked out in my favor this time but next time it might not,” he said. “I think after a certain amount of time in pro golf we all still care obviously but you have to remove a little of the emotion from it, or you’ll drive yourself insane.”

McIlroy fires lowest round of the week

After finishing up his second round Friday, McIlroy was unsure he was even going to make the cut, so even playing the weekend and getting a couple extra rounds in for the U.S. Open was considered a bonus.

Then McIlroy fired an 8-under par round of 64, which is the lowest of the week.

“My attitude was I’m just happy to be here, I’m happy to get another couple of days of playing, and I really just treated it like practice,” McIlroy said. “(I) Just threw the tournament out the window, go and try and work on what you’ve been working on on the range, and go from there.”

McIlroy has an understanding that he probably is out of it in terms of winning the tournament, but acknowledged that he may not necessarily be out of it.

“I’m probably going to be five or six shots back going into tomorrow anyway, so just keep, put the tournament out of your mind and just try to play a good round of golf,” he said. “It’s been done before.”

Woods not satisfied

For a while all of the golf community was buzzing because Tiger Woods was tied for the lead 15 holes into his third round.

Woods faced a quick left-to-right putt on the par-4 15th hole that he sank but was unable to get anything going after that.

“I know I shot 68 today but, again, that’s probably the highest score I could have possibly shot today,” said Woods. “I played really, really well. I played beautifully, actually. Had total control of what I was doing out there and just didn’t finish it off.”

Woods shot a 4-under par 68 which places him at -9 for the Memorial Tournament.

During Woods’s press conference, there was one question he took exception too. It had nothing to do with his putting, which he was happier with, save for a lip out from close range on the last hole, but rather if he felt his current game was able to win.

“I was at 11-under par, and I had wasted a bunch of shots the last two days and I was 4-over par in the first round, so you do the math,” he said.

Rough times

Kirk certainly did not waver when discussing the rough which has taken several golf strokes and added them to competitor’s scores.

“The hardest for sure,” he said. “There have been some lies where you’re lucky to advance it 50 yards. You’re not going to get that lie every time but you certainly can. It’s as difficult as I’ve played, maybe barring a few U.S. Opens.”

Author: Zac Weiss