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Seeking First PGA Tour Win, Suh Paces Tight Pack at Memorial Tournament



Photo credit: Chris Pohl/Pittsburgh Golf Now

DUBLIN, Ohio — In 2019, the Justin Suh World Tour was in full flight as he competed in several events in a short period of time, with the Memorial Tournament serving as his first at the professional level.

Suh was in the same rookie class as Viktor Hovland and Colin Morikawa, though he admits his start to his professional career “sucked”.

“I was actually doing pretty bad,” he recalled. “I was missing cuts, I wasn’t doing great, but as far as mentally and physically, I injured my wrist coming out of so much golf and that obviously hurt.

“As far as knowing how to get better and what I find myself improving, I really didn’t care what they were doing. I thought the better they do, almost better for me, because they’re the same year as me. If they can do it, I can do it. So it brought a little bit more confidence.

“I knew what I had to do to get better.”

Suh’s process has resulted in him contending in several big events this season and now halfway through the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, he leads by one shot at 8 under par.

“On the first hole I made a 12-footer for par on the fringe,” said Suh. “I just kind of kept the confidence with the putter going. I thought off the tee I didn’t do so great, kind of missing fairways with the driver early, but here, you don’t hit too many drivers. You hit a lot of irons off the tee, hit a lot of 3-woods off the tee. So I thought those I did well. Hopefully I can clean up the driver on the weekend.”

Suh made 122 feet, 6 inches worth of putts in his second round and leads the event in Strokes Gained: Putting, something he believes to have been his strength over the course of his PGA Tour career.

As the sun rose for day two of the event, the hard, fast conditions of the course made people wonder just how low someone could go at Muirfield Village Golf Club, an answer Hideki Matsuyama was all too willing to provide.

His 7-under 65 was the banner round of the week thus far and sets him up to be part of Saturday’s final pairing, one behind Suh.

Now sporting some facial hair, the Japan native and past Memorial champion offered plenty of smiles when discussing his round through interpreter Bob Turner.

“I made some good par-saving putts today, and as you mentioned, the course is playing tough, especially the greens,” he said. “If the greens get even harder than they are now, it’s going to be a challenge this weekend, but today the putts went in and so I’m satisfied.”

Matsuyama battled a neck ailment for a year and withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship last month after flying back home to Japan and not practicing at all. He felt his lack of preparation resulted in his withdraw.

It is something about this tournament that makes Matsuyama smile and playing alongside him was Patrick Cantlay, the 2018 Memorial Tournament champion, who posted a 5-under 67.

Cantlay’s game has come into form at the proper time as he has three top-10 finishes in his last four starts, including a T9 at the PGA Championship.

The American has entrusted former Tiger Woods bagman Joe LaCava to serve as his caddie and the results thus far have been encouraging.

Now he comes to one of his favorite courses and has placed himself in contention heading into the weekend.

“Just trying to do as best I can and stay as focused as I can,” said Cantlay. “These golf tournaments are marathons, so as much as you can click in and focus on every shot, that’s really my goal.”

For quite a while, it looked like David Lipsky would lead the morning wave, after all he got his round started with a birdie on the third hole, overcoming a misclub off the tee.

“We got way too close to the end of the fairway,” the 34-year-old said. “I was on like a slight downslope there. I tried to hit a nice little lob wedge, but it came out a little quick, one hopped over and into the rough.

“I got fortunate, caught a decent lie where I could get the club on the back of the ball. I sort of like those shots, sort of you just chop at it, it comes out soft and it worked out for me.”

Lipsky has shown flashes this season as evidenced by multiple top-10 finishes and by his own admission is well traveled, having played “everywhere but Antarctica” for every tour imaginable. As far as this event is concerned, Lipsky is the lone golfer in the field with both rounds in the 60’s.

He will have a chance to break through if he can maintain the positive thoughts that gave him as much as a three-stroke lead, before faltering with consecutive bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes.

Si Woo Kim and Mark Hubbard round out the top five, each at 5 under. Among those a shot behind them are Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy.

For McIlroy, his journey is one in which he is taking his swings from the range and trying to get them to better transition. He currently believes they are not in alignment and that the process of doing so will take a while.

“If you’ve let your swing get to a certain place over the course of, say, six months, there’s no way that you’re going to work for two weeks and all of a sudden it’s going to be where you want it to be,” said McIlroy. “I think it’s the smart way to do it, to just let embed in over time. I’m not saying it will take six months to get it to where I want to, but it will certainly take longer than a week or two.”

The cut was at 2 over for much of the day but finished a shot worse. Among those who missed the cut were last year’s champion Billy Horschel (+12), Justin Thomas (+6), Tom Kim (+7), Cameron Young (+6), Columbus resident Jason Day (+4) and 2023 Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson (+4).

A total of 66 golfers made the cut, with the biggest jump going to Xander Schauffele, who improved 11 shots from his first round and now stands at 1 under. Schauffele currently owns the active lead for most starts without a missed cut, with his last coming in the 2022 Masters.


1. Justin Suh -8

2. Hideki Matsuyama -7

T3. Patrick Cantlay -6

T3. David Lipsky -6

T5. Mark Hubbard -5

T5. Si Woo Kim -5

T7. Rickie Fowler -4

T7. Rory McIlroy -4

T7. Jon Rahm -4

T7. Patrick Rodgers -4

T7. Sepp Straka -4

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