ON THE LINKS Friday’s professional golf results
Kaymer shares lead at Memorial
Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer is tied for the lead going into the weekend at the Memorial, and whether he wins is not what drives him.
He knows his game is close enough that he can.
Kaymer kept it simple Friday with birdies on all the par 5s, a tee shot to 10 feet on a dangerous right pin at the par-3 12th and a bogey on his final hole at Muirfield Village for a 4-under 68 that gave him a share of the lead with Troy Merritt (66) and Kyoung-Hoon Lee (67).
They were at 9-under 135.
Jordan Spieth had a 70 and was another shot behind.
Tiger Woods had a chance to be a lot closer to the mix than seven shots except for the par-5 15th. He was in the shaggy rough on a hill above the green in two, and took five to get down for a double bogey. Woods had to settle for a 72.
“I just wasn’t able to get anything really going,” Woods said.
Kaymer is coming up on the five-year anniversary of his last win, and that wasn’t just any victory. He demolished the field at Pinehurst No. 2 for an eight-shot victory, this coming one month after he beat the strongest and deepest field in golf at The Players Championship.
And then he was gone.
“I distract myself,” Kaymer said. “I listen too much to other people, and also a bit of belief. Sometimes, you would think I won so many big tournaments I should have so much belief in myself that I can win any week. ... The last two years, I was just not there. I just didn’t believe that I could win the tournament I’m playing.”
He recently got off social media because he found no value except for gossip, innuendo and otherwise useless information. He was reminded of why that was such a smart move when he stopped for coffee Tuesday morning and stood in line between a half-dozen people, all staring at their phones.
“It’s just distraction, stimulation for your brain, just not thinking, not being there,” he said.
Spieth appears to be getting closer to ending nearly two years without a victory. One day after he holed two chips and made a long eagle putt, he was in position for a low score and had to settle for a 70.
“I probably shot the highest score I could have today,” Spieth said, though he immediately saw one upside. His only bogey was on No. 10 when he missed a 4-foot putt. But that was only his second bogey through 36 holes.
Higa maintains U.S. Open lead
Mamiko Higa of Japan birdied three of her final six holes following a nearly two-hour weather delay to shoot an even-par 71 and maintain a one-shot lead Friday in the suspended second round of the U.S. Women’s Open.
A day after shooting a 65 for the lowest debut round in tournament history, Higa was a stroke behind Jessica Korda when thunderstorms and lightning caused play to be suspended at the Country Club of Charleston. When things resumed, Higa rediscovered her first-round touch to regain the lead over Korda at 6 under with a 14-footer on her final hole.
There were 45 players on the course when play was halted due to darkness. They’ll finish today before third-round play starts.
Korda shot a 68, her lowest score in 38 career rounds in the major tournament.
American amateur Gina Kim had a 72 to join Celine Boutier of France at 4 under.