Michael Periatt / Asst. sports editor
Amidst blustery conditions, Tiger Woods might have had his hopes of winning the 2012 Memorial Tournament blown sideways, but he wasn’t alone.
Only three golfers – Rickie Fowler, Spencer Levin and Vijay Singh – posted scores in the 60’s during Saturday’s third round at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Levin’s 3-under-par round brought him to the top of the leader board at 8-under-par for the tournament, with Rory Sabbatini, the leader heading into the day’s action, close behind at 7-under-par.
Levin dropped strokes with bogeys on holes 7, 12 and 4 but threw four birdies up on the board to go along with an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole.
Levin, who was seen taking a cigarette break during television coverage of his third round, said his chip-in eagle was “pretty cool.”
“I had a really – I didn’t have much of a shot, and I knew I was probably going to hit it by from there no matter what, and the fact that it hit the pin was a pretty good break,” Levin said. “That was cool.”
Woods entered the third round at 5-under-par but dropped a stroke and fell into fourth position in the Jack Nicklaus-founded event at 4-under-par. Woods, who posted four bogeys on the back-nine Saturday, will join Fowler in Sunday’s penultimate pairing.
Woods, who confirmed during a post-round press conference that he was battling flu symptoms, said he remains optimistic for tomorrow’s final round.
“I certainly probably shot the highest score I could have shot today considering the way I hit it,” Woods said, “but I’m only four back, and out here with the conditions, supposed to be like this tomorrow again, anything can happen.”
Woods also said he was certain that he “left a few shots out there” on Saturday.
“But four shots is definitely manageable around this golf course, considering the conditions and what they’re going to be tomorrow. A lot of guys are still in this ballgame … it’ll be an exciting day tomorrow.”
Fowler shot 3-under-par for the day as the winds whistled around the course, and vaulted himself into title contention, sitting three strokes back of Levin.
Fowler said that, given his comfort level with Muirfield Village Golf Club, he likes his position heading into the final round of tournament action.
“Yeah, I’ve hit a lot of good shots around here, so I’ve probably at least birdied every hole or had good shots on all holes out here,” Fowler said. “So, definitely able to go into every hole out here comfortable and knowing that we’ve played it well and hit some good shots there. Looking forward to tomorrow … Anywhere being around the lead on Sunday is good around here.”