The youngest players on the PGA tour have stolen the spotlight over the past month. Rory McIlroy won at Quail Hollow just 2 days before his 21st birthday. Jason Day won the Byron Nelson Championship at the age of 22 two weeks ago.
Now, the new kid in golf 21-year old Rickie Fowler, has a good shot to keep the youth rage alive as he is atop the leader board at the Memorial Tournament at the soggy Muirfield Village. Play was stopped twice on Friday due to thunderstorms for a total of one hour, but it did not seem to have an effect on the play of Fowler.
Both McIlroy and Day turned pro three years ago while Fowler did not turn pro until last summer. Fowler has already played well in his first year as a professional. He finished one shot behind in the Phoenix Open back in February and lost in a playoff last fall.
“Just being in contention the few times I have over the last eight months, this is by far the best I’ve felt,” Fowler said.
Late in the second round, Fowler ran off three straight birdies to tie the 36-hole record at the Memorial tournament and finish the day with a 6-under 66. Fowler has a three shot lead over Justin Rose and sits at 13 under after 36 holes which ties the record set by Scott Hoch back in 1987.
Tiger Woods, the defending champion, has started to come alive after a lackluster first round. Following Thursday’s play, Woods was just inside the projected cut line and questions arose as to whether or not he would be around for the weekend. Those questions did not last long as he got off to a hot start in his second round. He birdied three of the first five holes and went on to end the day with a 69. Woods, who is playing in his last tournament before the U.S. Open, is at 3-under for the tournament and 10 shots off the lead.
“I hit more good shots today than I did yesterday, and really putted well,” Woods said.
Phil Mickelson, who missed the cut at last weekend’s Crowne Plaza invitational, is looking for a win this weekend and become the No.1 ranked player in the world. He started his second round off to great start on the front nine, including a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch. But the back nine wasn’t as kind, especially on the green where Mickelson missed one par putt after another. He did however close out his round with two straight birdies and is at 6-under for the tournament, seven shots off the lead.
Latest odds by PGA sportsbooks have Fowler at 13/8 to win the Memorial Tournament. Rose and Jim Furyk, who is at 9-under and tied for third, have their odds set at 5/1.