Palmer, Finau Tied for Memorial Lead

Ryan Palmer shot 77-81 and missed the cut by a mile last week in the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village Golf Club, but he’s 24 strokes better after two rounds on the same course this week.

The 43-year-old Palmer (pictured) posted a 4-under-par 68 and is tied for the lead with Tony Finau midway through the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

“It just wasn’t there last week, but I went home and found something on the range on Saturday, then had three good days of preparation on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Palmer, who has four victories in his PGA Tour career.

“It’s great to just reset and put two good rounds together like this. I made a lot of pressure putts, six- and seven-footers to save par. I didn’t know I was tied for the lead and I’m excited about the weekend, for sure.”

Palmer, who opened with a 67, made his five birdies on the last 13 holes in round two en route to catching first-round leader Finau at 9-under 135.

Finau, who shot 66 in round one, made bogeys on two of his first three holes on Friday before playing the last 15 holes in 5-under to post a 69.

“I got off to a slow start, but didn’t make a bogey after that,” said Finau, who collected nine birdies in round one. “I just had to stay patient. I know there are holes on this golf course where you can make birdies, but I knew I just couldn’t make any more mistakes.

“It seems like a lot of my rounds are like that, where I play better on my back nine than on the front. I fought my way back and managed to put myself back on top of the leaderboard. I’ll have to ride that into the weekend.”

Second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain birdied the last hole to shoot 67 and is one stroke back in solo third, while reigning U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland had a 70 and is one more behind in a tie for fourth with Chez Reavie, who holed out from 107 yards for an eagle at No. 11 in a 67, and Luke List, who sank a 15-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole in a 68.

Jason Day of Australia made two early bogeys before collecting eight birdies in a 66 and is four shots down in solo seventh, while defending champion and 10th-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA had a second straight 70 and is in a big tie for eighth with 2011 Memorial champion Steve Stricker (67), 2002 Memorial winner Jim Furyk (68), Jordan Spieth (70), Danny Willett (66) of England, Viktor Hovland (66) of Norway, Henrik Norlander (66) of Sweden and Mackenzie Hughes (66) of Canada.

Third-ranked Justin Thomas shot 67 and is tied for 16th and top-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland is tied for 21st after a 72, while five-time Memorial champion Tiger Woods (71-76), sixth-ranked Brooks Koepka (72-75) and eighth-ranked Patrick Reed

(71-76) made the cut on the number in a tie for 64th.

“My back stiffened up on the range,” said Woods, who is playing on the PGA Tour for the first time since February. “It was not very good, but it is what it is. I three-putted two holes early, but I fought back. To finish birdie-birdie-par was probably the only positive.”

Seventh-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, who won the Rocket Mortgage Classic in his last start, hit two shots out of bounds and made a quintuple-bogey 10 on the 15th hole, and missed the weekend by two strokes at 73-76, fifth-ranked Webb Simpson also missed by two at 76-74 and fourth-ranked Dustin Johnson missed by 13 at 80-80.

Simpson was coming off a victory in the RBC Heritage, while Johnson won the Travelers Championship in his last start.

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