DUBLIN, Ohio — On a course with such a fine line between birdies and bogeys, Steve Stricker settled for perfection Friday in the Memorial with a hole-in-one that put him in control at Muirfield Village.
Stricker used a 6-iron on the 188-yard eighth hole — his 17th hole of the second round — then birdied his final hole for a 5-under 67. Instead of being part of a five-way tie for the lead, he wound up three shots clear going into the weekend.
Stricker was at 9-under 135, three shots clear of Rory McIlroy (72), Ricky Barnes (70), Jonathan Byrd (67) and the resurgent Rod Pampling of Australia, who lost his PGA Tour card last year and had a bogey-free 66.
Luke Donald, in his debut as the No. 1 player in the world, had another strong rally by finishing with back-to-back birdies for a 69 that left him at 5-under 139, still very much in the hunt. Donald has not finished out of the top 10 in nine straight tournaments.
Shin leads LPGA Classic
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Third-ranked Jiyai Shin shot a 5-under 66 to a take a one-stroke lead over playing partner Sandra Gal of Germany after the wind-whipped first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Catriona Matthew opened with a 68 on the Bay Course at Seaview, and fourth-ranked ranked Cristie Kerr, No. 6 I.K. Kim, Karen Stupples, Vicky Hurst and Lindsey Wright had 69s. Karrie Webb was in a trio at 70. Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer had 72s.
Brooks first at Champions
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Mark Brooks battled through hot, breezy conditions to shoot a 6-under 65 for a two-stroke lead over Mark Calcavecchia and Peter Senior in the Principal Charity Classic.
Brooks, a Champions Tour rookie who turned 50 on March 25, holed a 60-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th hole. Calcavecchia stayed close by conquering the three par 5s, making an eagle and two birdies.
Defending champion Nick Price and money leader Tom Lehman had 68s.M