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Scottie Scheffler back on top through 36 holes of Memorial Tournament

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Scottie Scheffler returned to a familiar place Friday at Muirfield Village: Atop a PGA Tour leaderboard.

Scheffler fired a 4-under 68 to move to 9 under, where he leads the Memorial Tournament by three shots over defending champion Viktor Hovland and Adam Hadwin at the midway point.

On a gusty day in Dublin, Ohio, Scheffler hit 13 greens, tied for second most in the 73-player field. He carded an eagle, at the par-5 15th hole, and four birdies, including at the par-4 closing hole, where Scheffler drained a 12-footer. At No. 15, Scheffler hit 3-iron from 235 yards to 8 feet to set up his eagle.

“It was pretty windy out there,” Scheffler said. “I just tried to do my best to execute. [Caddie] Teddy [Scott], I think, did a really good job of getting most of the winds right for the day and that’s a pretty challenging task, I think, around this golf course, especially when the winds are up, just because have you so many trees that kind of block it and when it’s gusty, it can be really challenging and start blowing from directions where it’s not quite supposed to at times.”

This is the first time Scheffler has ended a round in the lead since winning the RBC Heritage for his fourth title in five starts. He tied for eighth at the PGA Championship, a tournament overshadowed by Scheffler’s arrest prior to the second round (charges have since been dropped), and then shared second two weeks ago at the CJ Cup Byron Nelson.

“I try to forget those days [when I feel off], and so I’m pretty fortunate right now that I can’t really remember,” Scheffler said. “The only one I can really remember was Saturday at the PGA, but that was another caddie, so we’ll blame him for that (laughing).”

Keegan Bradley and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who fired the round of the day (67), are tied for fourth at 5 under. Ludvig Åberg is another stroke back, at 4 under. Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau and Akshay Bhatia are all tied at 3 under.

Jordan Spieth and Wyndham Clark, who will defend next week’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst, were among those who missed the cut.

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