2022 Memorial Tournament Ranking: Billy Horschel rises to five shots lead at 65 in Round 3


2022 Memorial Tournament Ranking: Billy Horschel rises to five shots lead at 65 in Round 3

Billy Horschel shot himself to the top of the rankings in no time at the Memorial Tournament 2022 on Saturday. From there, the Florida product kept its foot on the gas and now heads into the finals at Muirfield Village five shots ahead.

Starting the day two strokes behind Cameron Smith’s 36-hole lead, Horschel started with a rush, interfering on the first hole and never looking back. With six additional birdies, Horschel’s third round of 7-under-65 marks the week’s lowest of all.

While his birdie skills reigned supreme on Saturday, it was his ability to avoid bogeys during the first 54 holes that caught my attention. He has only once missed so far – a 3-putt from 20 feet on the par-4 #1 hole on Round 1 – and has been clean 11-under in his last 44 holes of playing the course.

Horschel came to the Memorial Tournament fresh from a missed cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first time he missed the weekend in 2022. Disappointed with himself, his course management and his overall process, Horschel quickly corrected last week’s mistake and is poised to step into the winners’ circle for the first time since last year’s BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour.

“Very happy with the work Fooch [caddie Mark Fulcher] and that’s what I did,” Horschel said. “Not just today, but for the last three days. I think we just go through our process, making sure we have a number where we’re trying to land the ball, talking about the shot, club selection, the wind. When we do that, I have a clearer picture and a little more acceptance of the golf swing.”

Rick Gehman and Jonathan Coachman recap Saturday’s action at the 2022 Memorial Tournament. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

the leader

1. Billy Hörschel (-13): The 35-year-old was close to adding a seventh PGA Tour title to his resume this season after finishing second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Zurich Classic. He came back just short on both occasions and now has full control of the Memorial Tournament thanks to a nearly flawless 54 holes.

This is the second 54-hole lead of his career and his first since the 2014 BMW Championship. Aside from Cameron Smith, I’m not sure if there’s too much concern for those behind him and if he’s just minding his own business cares, Horschel should be the one to shake hands with Jack Nicklaus on Sunday.

“I just go to the tee and understand that I’m leading the tournament. I know I have as many shots as possible ahead of the lead,” Horschel said in reference to how he will play with a five-shot lead. “I just go out and try to play a really good round of golf. I will not be protective, I will not be overly aggressive. I’ll play like I’ve been playing for the past three days.”

Other contenders

T2. Aaron Wise and Cameron Smith (-8)

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

T7. Patrick Cantlay, Joaquin Niemann, Davis Riley and Denny McCarthy (-6)

Sevens have been wild on the PGA Tour for the past two Sundays, with Justin Thomas winning the PGA Championship and Sam Burns winning the Charles Schwab Challenge. While this trend is unlikely to continue, it’s extremely encouraging to see a player like Molinari in the top five after a battle with injuries and swing changes.

“It was more difficult than I ever thought between injuries and other things that got in my way,” said Molinari. “I’ve been lost for a while. I feel like there’s definitely been some improvement in the game this year, maybe not in results and scores yet, but even just in the last few weeks… I think that there were some signs that things are getting better.”

Rory gets stuck at idle

Saturdays could be the new Thursdays for McIlroy as this is the second third straight round he has fallen flat. With a 1-over-73, the Northern Irishman, who started the day just three shots behind the lead, now signed nine behind Horschel.

“It’s going to be a little difficult,” McIlroy said. “You have to land it on your spots with your iron shots and you have to put it in the fairway to have any chance of getting close. The greens are getting fast so you need to play a bit more break. It’s hard to keep the ball under the hole, so you are – there are a lot of putts out there that are a bit defensive.

Perhaps that’s why McIlroy’s performance on Saturday was so surprising, as he hit his irons beautifully and has long been known as one of the best drivers in the world. Losing more than one shot on approach and two more with the putter in hand, McIlroy still has another chance to get into the top five through the back door.

The US Presidents Cup team could be starting to take shape

For a second, let’s project Horschel as this week’s winner, which would put him 8th in the US team standings for the Presidents Cup. With the current top six likely to be determined whether through automatic qualification or not, Captain Davis Love III is left with six selections between: Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Horschel, Will Zalatoris, Tony Finau, Cameron Young, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau .

Horschel never represented the United States as a professional and was eager to become a member of the Ryder Cup team in Whistling Straits. As the winner of last year’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, one has to imagine that if his form keeps up, he’ll win the Quail Hollow bid. While there are certainly question marks in the above list, it’s a major concern for the United States side as they are tasked with dismantling one of the strongest international teams to date.

Updated odds and tips

Here’s a look at the updated odds with one round left via Caesars Sportsbook.

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

Sometimes it’s more than okay to sit out the last round, but when there’s a game to make, lay the juice with Horschel. For reference, Scheffler was priced exactly the same at last week’s Colonial as he went into the final round with a two-shot lead. I’m not comparing the world No. 1 to Horschel, but I’ll say that price still has value if you’re willing to endure it.

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