Bad breaks can't stop Scottie Scheffler from adding to Memorial lead

Scottie Scheffler thinned a bunker shot into the water.

He tugged a drive that clocked a tree trunk and ricocheted out of bounds.

He three-putted his final hole.

And yet, Scheffler still leads the Memorial Tournament by four shots through 54 holes at Muirfield Village as the world No. 1 looks to win for the fifth time this year, first since the RBC Heritage in early April.

“Overall, I think I played pretty solid, just got a couple bad breaks and it’s going to happen around this golf course,” said Scheffler, whose 1-under 71 moved him to 10 under, four clear of Collin Morikawa (68), Sepp Straka (68) and Adam Hadwin (72). “I mean, the golf course is really challenging. You’re not always going to get good breaks, you’re not always going to get good lies.”

Scheffler, who led by three shots after two rounds, birdied two of his first four holes on Saturday. He then hit his second shot at the par-5 fifth into a bunker about 45 yards from the hole and caught his third shot “a little thin,” Scheffler’s ball ending up over the green and in the penalty area. He’d go on to bogey and play the four par-5s in a combined even par.

After bouncing back with birdie at the sixth, Scheffler got into more trouble at the par-4 ninth. Scheffler called the drive a “slight pull” that would’ve ended up maybe 15 yards left of the fairway had it not hit a tree trunk, which sent the ball out of bounds and led to a triple bogey.

“I was just frustrated,” Scheffler said. “It was like, I feel like I hadn’t hit many shots at all today offline, and I had a triple on my card, and I was all of a sudden 1 over par. So, I was definitely frustrated with the break, but overall, I was like, I’m still swinging it really good, I didn’t need to change anything, I just need to stay in the right frame of mind.”

Again, Scheffler rebounded with birdie. He’d add birdies at Nos. 12 and 15, too. A three-putt from 64 feet at No. 18 soured his closing nine, but only slightly – and it did little to take away from the fact that Scheffler is an overwhelming favorite (-450) heading into Sunday at Jack’s Place.

Scheffler has converted each of his past four solo 54-hole leads on Tour into wins after starting his career 1 for 4.

“I don’t really change anything,” Scheffler said. “I’m going to go out tomorrow and try and have a good round of golf, keep my head down and stay in my own little world out there. I’m not going to really pay any attention to what anybody else is doing out there, I’m just going to try and do my best.”

As Saturday proved, it might not even take his best.

“He’s far and above the No. 1 player in the world, I believe, especially after watching today,” Hadwin said. “Obviously, a couple holes there where some things didn’t go his way, but the way he started and the way – like, the sound that he hits it with and the ball flight and the shape of the shots…

“I mean, I don’t expect him to lose this golf tournament.”

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