Cameron Young stays hot, shares early lead at Memorial
DUBLIN, Ohio – Just being at the Memorial is a reminder Cameron Young arrived last year. Being part of a six-way game to take the lead on Thursday is another reminder of how well he is playing.
In his first start since his challenge at the PGA Championship, Young finished with two birdies in his final three holes 5 under 67 at the rainy Muirfield Village.
Even with a slightly softer green, 67 is the highest number of points leading after Memorial’s first round since 2004. And this is the second straight week on the PGA Tour of a major logjam at the top – eight draw after a round in the Colonies.
Join Young is List of Luke, Cameron Smith and KH Lee from the morning wave, and Mackenzie Hughes and Davis Riley each shot 67 in the afternoon.
Bryson DeChambeauin his first tournament since the Masters because of surgery on his left hand, had 76. Harris English started for the first time since the Sony Open in January because of hip surgery. He starts with the number 77.
A year ago, Young racked up consecutive wins on the Korn Ferry Tour, taking him up about 300 places in the world rankings to 170th. Now he’s in 30th place, with 5 Top 3 in his rookie season, runner-up three times.
The most recent was at Southern Hills, when Young was tied for the lead with his 14th tee in the final round of the PGA. His chances ended with a brace on the 16th.
And then he was right back at it at the Memorial, doing a 15-foot eagle on par-5 15 on his way to 31 of his nine openings, passing a few bogeys on nine holes. ahead and end another solid day with a 30-foot birdie putt.
“I think we already knew what could happen, but I think I’ve also improved a lot throughout this season,” Young said. “And it’s a lot easier to get this done well. If I’m really fighting to keep my cards for next year, I think it’s going to be a lot harder. To take the lead and then finish high a couple of times. , I think just that the comfort level has increased and I can continue.”
The greens are solid in practice and still roll well, although players can aim for the flags due to enough rain and cloud cover. That took some tweaking. The village of Muirfield is still tough enough that scarabs can be easily found.
List, who took his first win at Torrey Pines in January, had only one bogey at 67. Smith was slowed by several bogeys in the front nine after making the first leg. Lee started from the fairway at number 9 for the eagles, only to follow with shots in the back.
Will Zalatoriswho lost in the previous PGA Championship playoffs Justin Thomashad eight birdies in round 68 and was unsure of what would make his round.
“I didn’t think 68 with eight birdies was on the card when I showed up on Monday, Tuesday,” said Zalatoris.
He quickly realized the difference, a wedge on the 13th hole landed near the flag and turned 15 feet back. Earlier in the week, he saw such shots bound on the green in trouble.
What helped in any condition was his. Zalatoris and 11 consecutive one-touch serves, one of which was for a bogey, until the end of the streak when he missed a par-3 12-foot birdie putt in fourth place.
Defending Champion Patrick Cantlay Didn’t find as many birdies as the others from the morning wave, just two birdies against two bogeys for an even score of 72. Collin Morikawawho lost to Cantlay in the playoffs at Memorial last year, has two birdies with 71 points.
Jon Rahmwho had a six-shot lead after 54 holes last year until having to withdraw because of a positive COVID-19 test, hit two balls into the water on a nine-pointed back and shot 72.
Young retrospective meeting Jack Nicklaus, the tournament’s host, at Pebble Beach in 2019 for the US Open when he qualified for his first amateur tournament. It was special for at least one of them.
“I’m sure he won’t remember,” Young said. “He was walking towards me and I said, ‘Hi, I’m Cameron.’ And he was very nice. Say hello and move on. But I’m nobody. I just graduated from college. So that was really the only time I got to see him.”
Nicklaus is always at playground 18 on Sundays to shake hands with winners. That would be memorable.