2022 Memorial Championship Leaderboard: Billy Horscher soars to 5-shot lead with 65 in 3rd round

In the blink of an eye, Billy Horschel shot himself to the top of the leaderboard Saturday at the 2022 Memorial Championship. Continuing his footsteps from there, the Florida product will now take a five-shot lead heading into the final round at Muirfield Village.

Starting today, after Cameron Smith had a two-shot lead on the 36th hole, Horschel got flustered, cutting on the first hole and never looking back. With six birdies, Horschel shot a 7-under 65 in the third round, the lowest of the week.

While his birdie prowess prevailed Saturday, it was his bogey avoidance over the first 54 holes that caught my attention. So far, he’s made just one mistake — a three-putt from 20 feet on the par-4 No. 1 hole in the first round — and has made no mistakes in his final 44 holes of golf. Under 11 years old.

Horschel missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge, making his first Memorial Tournament, his first weekend in 2022. Disappointed with himself, his course management and his overall process, Horschel quickly corrected last week’s mistakes and was ready to enter the winner’s circle for the first time since last year’s DP World Tour BMW PGA Championship.

“Very satisfied with Fauci’s work [caddie Mark Fulcher] I’ve done it,” Horschel said. “Not just today, but for the past three days. I think just going through our process, making sure we have a number we’re trying to get the ball down, talking about shots, club selection, wind. When we do, it gives me a clearer picture and a higher acceptance of golf shots. “

Rick Gehman and Jonathan Coachman look back on Saturday’s performance at the 2022 Memorial Championship. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


1. Billy Horschel (-13): The 35-year-old is close to adding a seventh PGA Tour title to his resume with a runner-up finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Zurich Classic this season. In both cases it was just a smidge, and thanks to a near-perfect 54 holes, he is now in complete control of the Memorial Championship.

It was his second career lead of 54 holes and his first since the 2014 BMW Championship. Aside from Cameron Smith, I’m not sure the man behind him has too many concerns, and if he’s just taking care of his own business, Horschel should be the one to shake hands with Jack Nicklaus on Sunday.

“I just went to the tee and knew I was leading the game and I knew no matter how many shots I had ahead of the lead,” Horschel said of how he would play with a five-shot lead. “Just going out and trying to play a really good golf game. I’m not going to protect myself, I’m not going to be overly aggressive. I’m going to play the way I’ve played the past three days.”

other competitors

T2. Aaron Wise and Cameron Smith (-8)

T4. Daniel Berger, Francesco Molinari and Jhonattan Vegas (-7)

T7. Patrick Cantlay, Joaquin Nyman, Davis Riley and Danny McCarthy (-6)

The last two Sundays on the PGA Tour were wild for the sevens, with Justin Thomas winning the PGA Championship and Sam Burns winning the Charles Schwab Challenge. While this trend is unlikely to continue, it’s very encouraging to see a player like Molinari break into the top five after going through injuries and swing changes.

“It was harder than I thought, between the injury and some of the other things that got in the way,” Molinari said. “I’ve been lost for a while. I think there’s definitely been some improvement in the game this year, maybe not yet in results and points, but even in recent weeks … I think there are some signs that things are getting better.”

Rory falls into neutral

Saturday could be McIlroy’s new Thursday, as it marks his second straight third-round loss. Signed at 73 and one over, the Northern Irishman started the day just three shots behind the lead and now finds himself nine behind Horschel.

“It got a little tricky,” McIlroy said. “You have to put the ball where you are with your irons, you have to put it on the fairway to get a chance to get close to it. The greens are getting faster, so you have to hit more breaks. The ball stays under the hole, so you — there’s a lot of putts there that are a little bit defensive.”

Maybe that’s why McIlroy’s performance on Saturday was so surprising, as he hits the irons beautifully and has long been considered one of the best drivers in the world. McIlroy lost more than one shot close to the ball and two more with the putter in hand, and McIlroy had another chance to make the top five through the back door.

Presidents Cup teams may be slowly taking shape

For now, let’s predict Horscher as this week’s champion, which will propel him to No. 8 in the Presidents Cup USA standings. The current top six could be locked through automatic qualifying, which leaves captain Davies Love III with six options: Max Homa, Zand Scheoffele, Horschel, Wilzaratoris, Tony Ferno , Cameron Young, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

Horschel, who has never represented the United States as a professional player, is eager to be part of the Whistling Straits Ryder Cup team. As the winner of last year’s WGC-Dell Technologies match play, one has to imagine that if his form continues, he’ll be recognized by Quail Hollow. While there are definitely question marks on the list above, it’s a big one for the U.S. side, who will be tasked with dismantling one of the strongest international teams to date.

Updated odds and picks

Here are the latest odds for the remaining round via Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Billy Horscher: 4/7
  • Cameron Smith: 13/2
  • Aaron Wise: 12-1
  • Daniel Berger: 22-1
  • Patrick Cantley: 25-1
  • Francesco Molinari: 30-1
  • Joaquin Niemann: 35-1
  • Jonathan Vegas: 35-1
  • Davis Riley: 40-1

It’s great to miss the final round at times, but if there’s one game to play, it’s to play with Horschel. For reference, Schaeffler was priced exactly the same as last week at Colony heading into the final round with a two-shot lead. I’m not comparing the world number one to the Hoscher, but I mean, it’s still worth the price if you’re willing to put up with it.

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