Three-shot lead for Scheffler as Akshay Bhatia is tied seventh at Memorial

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Dublin (Ohio), Jun 8 (PTI) Indian American Akshay Bhatia stayed in line for another solid result as he was tied-7th at the midway stage of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.

The wiry left-hander Bhatia with rounds of 69 and 72 was 3-under for 36 holes and tied seventh with the likes of Rory McIlroy (70-71) and the 2024 PGA champion Xander Schauffele (68-73).

Another Indian-American Sahith Theegala (73-71) was T-20.

The two-time Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was solid in strong winds as he shot 4-under 68 to move into a three-shot lead. Alongside his 5-under 67 on the first day, he is 9-under.

Scheffler was at 9-under 135, three shots ahead of Viktor Hovland (69) and Adam Hadwin (72), chasing another $ four-million prize. Defending champion Hovland, who is T2, is attempting to become the first player to win the Memorial Tournament in consecutive years since Tiger Woods won three straight (1999, 2000, 2001).

Scheffler, twice third here in 2021 and 2023, was chased hard till he landed an eagle on the par-5 15th. Then he finished with two solid par saves and a 12-foot birdie to take a three-shot lead.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa had the best round on the second day at 67 and was four shots behind, along with Keegan Bradley (69). Ludvig Aberg, who spent two days watching Scheffler put on another clinical show, shot 72 and was five back.

The Memorial is the seventh of eight Signature Events this season, and one of the three tournaments with player hosts — the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, The Genesis Invitational (Tiger Woods) and the Memorial (Jack Nicklaus).

With a dry forecast to get the Muirfield Village course even firmer, it most likely will only get more difficult over the weekend. PTI Cor AM AM AM

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