2022 Memorial Tournament Leaderboard: Cameron Smith dominates after Round 2, Rory McIlroy lurks

Heading into the weekend of the 2022 Memorial Championship, a fantastic leaderboard has been formed. Fighting for a coveted handshake with Jack Nicklaus on the 72nd green, Cameron Smith took the lead at the midpoint. After a 5-under 67 in the opening round, the Australian shot 3-under 69 and looked ready to continue his breakout season with his third win of the year.

“I think my game is in good shape. There’s no reason I shouldn’t [at the top of the leaderboard]”I’m playing some of the best golf of my life, and I feel like I’m getting more comfortable with longer games.”so [I am] Just looking forward to what’s to come. “

With the U.S. Open in two weeks, Smith hinted that he wants to add a major title to his trophy, but he better not look too far as a strong team has formed at Muirfield Village Chase the team. Rookies Cameron Young and Davis Riley, young stars Joaquin Nyman and Sung Jae Lim, and Grand Slam champions Francisco Molinari and Rory McIlroy are all four in Smith’s lead. within the rod. It should make for an exciting golf weekend in Dublin, Ohio.

leader

1. Cameron Smith (-8): To say Smith has a poor history at Muirfield Village would be an understatement. The world No. 3 has missed the cut four times in his previous six matches and has not made the top 60 once. It makes one wonder: what’s different this time?

Most would expect his serve accuracy and variety of hardcore play to show up this week, but surprisingly, that’s not the case. In its place was his short game ability, as Smith went up and down 15 of 18 and led the field in strokes around the green. It will be interesting to see if this part of his game continues to knock him out, as the 28-year-old played just 18 fairways and 21 greens in the 36-hole regular-season game.

“[I am] Really happy where my short game is,” Smith said. “I feel like my ball is rolling well. Just need to sort out the longer stuff. The back nine doesn’t really hit a lot of fairways, but it takes just a few shots to fix it. “

other competitors

T2. Denny McCarthy and KH Lee (-7)

T4. Davis Riley, Cameron Young, Jhonattan Vegas, Luke List and Billy Horschel (-6)

T9. Aaron Wise, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Keith Mitchell (-5)

McIlroy is the elephant in the room, and he’s been doing great since his quick finish at the 2022 Masters. With a top-five finish at the Wells Fargo Championship and a top-10 finish at the PGA Championship, the Northern Irishman looks to be well on his way to adding to this high-quality finish.

“Another solid day,” McIlroy said after a 3-under 69 in the second round. “A couple of stupid bogeys … but I think it’s happening around here. It’s getting more and more It gets trickier and you’ll make bogeys no matter where they come in. Overall, two solid rounds of golf heading into the weekend’s contention.

Riley and Young are back

The two PGA Tour rookies were in contention again as they both finished in the top five after 36 holes. They were 6 under, just two behind the lead, and well-positioned for their first victory on tour. Going into the week, Riley had six top-10 finishes, including a playoff loss at the Valspar Championship and a tie for fourth at last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge. Young, meanwhile, has five podium finishes, including three of his last three races, most recently at the PGA Championship.

“I think the more I put myself out there, the more comfortable I’ll be,” Young said Friday. “Not that I’m uncomfortable, esp, but I think the more normal it becomes, the more likely you are one day – Saturday or Sunday you can post a very low number, I haven’t really done it yet. “

Professional golfers…they are just like us

Former Memorial Championship champion Jon Rahm looks ready to fight for a second title at Muirfield Village over the weekend, but that’s not why he’s in the news today. All of us golf fans and weekend warriors can feel his one shot as the world No. 2 hits the par 4 in the second round.

“The ball under my feet, the uncomfortable shot, the wind,” Rahm said. “Then tried to drive it low and it didn’t clear at all. Full of indecision. That was the recipe for disaster. It could be a bunker on the side of the green, or it could be short, and it turned out worse. I’m lucky with what happened. I was able to make a bogey and minimize mistakes. I thought it was out of bounds and I was eyeing a 7.”

PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas joined the fun on social media, giving the Spaniard his shot. The world number five suffered a similar hit in the final round at Nanshan, bogeying and clinching his second Grand Slam title. Time will tell if Rahm can do the same as he heads into the weekend with a six-shot lead.

Cold wave continues at Collin Morikawa

Last month wasn’t kind to the 25-year-old, as he hasn’t finished in the top 20 since the Masters. The hardcore game has been middling, and the putting was pretty bad on Friday. He shot 4-over 36 holes and missed only his second cut of the year. Morikawa had a win and a playoff loss at last season’s Memorial Championship in his three previous trips to Muirfield Village. It was his last start before the U.S. Open at the country club, and one has to wonder how the two-time Grand Slam champion fared in Boston.

Updated odds and picks

Here are the updated odds for halfway point viewing via Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Cameron Smith: 3-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 8-1
  • Cameron Young: 10-1
  • KH Lee: 12-1
  • Davis Riley: 12-1
  • Billy Horscher: 14-1
  • Danny McCarthy: 18-1
  • Luke’s roster: 22-1
  • Joaquin Niemann: 25-1
  • Jonathan Vegas: 25-1
  • Aaron Wise: 25-1

Oddly, we’ve seen Smith in this position before in Nicklaus’ designs, as he was the franchise’s 36-hole leader last year, and then saw him fall off the leaderboard on a bad weekend. As golf courses get tougher, hitting ability will become more important, which could spell trouble for Smith. Corey Conners (-2) went 100-1 and has missed just five greens so far in the regular season. Putting is usually the Canadian’s Achilles heel, as it was this week, but if it chooses to fit in the second half of this tournament, he’s perfectly capable of overcoming a six-shot deficit.

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