02 June 2019: The miners in Ohio dig deep for the wealth hidden beneath the surface of this Paleozoic era inhabitation. Martin Kaymer reached Ohio without a victory to his name since taking his second major title at the US Open in 2014. But rounds of 67-68-66 have helped the German reach 15-under with a two-stroke cushion over Adam Scott, who hasn’t won in three years. So there is a spring of hope inside the Muirfield Village Golf Cup for men seeking to end a drought. Jordan Spieth, with no silver in sight for nearly two years, is also in the mix at 11-under through 54 holes.
Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Cantlay are also in the hunt, tied in third with Jordan Spieth. The Japanese was in rousing form, making four birdies on either side for his 64, the best round on the day.
Shubhankar Sharma decided it was about time to dig deep and find his best. Three birdies in the first five holes set it up nicely for the struggling Indian golfer and he spent much of the day trying to build on a solid start.
He made a brilliant putt from 17 feet to start his day on a positive note at the very first hole. Shubhankar reached the green in two on the 527 yards, par-5 fifth hole before two-putting for his third birdie of the round.
Another two-putt served to dampen spirits for Shubhankar, as he took a bogey at the ninth hole. But he regained the shot when he chipped his third to six feet from the cup on the par-5 11th hole.
A 14 footer read perfectly well helped Shubhankar move to 4-under for the round as he went past the 12th hole. He repeated the trick at the 14th hole to move further up the order. He traded shots at the 15th and 16th to remain at 5-under, looking set for a substantial round.
Shubhankar conceded ground though just ahead of signing the card when he took four strokes to reach the green on the 484-yard par-4 18th, before needing two putts to complete his day at work.
incidentally, Kaymer, Scott and Spieth are not the only ones looking to end a drought. Matsuyama hasn’t won in 22 months and Cantlay has been running dry for nearly 19 months.
Kaymer is a two-time major winner with nine European Tour wins and THE PLAYERS Championship he won the same year when he won the U.S. Open.
“Once you lead a golf tournament, it’s so much about how much can you handle yourself,” Kaymer said.
“And obviously if somebody takes a run at you, it is what it is. But the game plan doesn’t really change. For me, it’s pure enjoyment the way I play right now. I don’t have many weaknesses that I see at the moment.
“But under the circumstances, it can change. Obviously handling certain nerves and pressure and stuff like that, who knows how you will react. And that is the beauty of golf; that you can’t really prepare yourself for those special situations.”
The 2013 Masters Champion, Scott, is looking for his 14th PGA TOUR victory.
“I’m just going to play as good as I can tomorrow. I like where it’s all at. I feel like the last few times I’ve been in with a chance, going back to the PGA Championship last year, I felt comfortable. So I’m not worried. I feel like this is the spot I’m meant to be,” Scott said.
“And since then, I’ve seen lots of good golf, and I feel like my game is at a level that, if I put it all together properly and control myself out there, I can win.”
Anirban Lahiri suffered a second day of disappointment. After starting the week inside the top ten with a 67, Anirban has endured rounds of 76 and 75 to slip down the order.
PGA TOUR Notes
Martin Kaymer is seeking his first victory in 62 starts, while Adam Scott is seeking his first victory in 63 starts
Kaymer is looking to become just the third player to win the U.S. Open, THE PLAYERS Championship and the Memorial Tournament alongside Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods
Seven international players are inside the top 10 of the leaderboard
Jordan Spieth sits T3, looking for his first victory since the 2017 Open Championship
Five-time Memorial Tournament winner Tiger Woods sits T25 at 4-under
Reigning FedExCup champion Justin Rose sits T10, seeking his sixth top-10 this season and eighth at the event