Justin Suh, Hideki Matsuyama ride hot putters at Memorial

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Associated PressJun 2, 2023, 08:14 PM ET5 Minute Read

Justin Suh birdies 18 to take solo lead at the Memorial

Justin Suh sinks a birdie putt on the 18th hole to pass Hideki Matsuyama as the leader at the Memorial.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Justin Suh signed for a 6-under 66 at the Memorial and then made a few stops to speak with the media. His putter stayed with him the entire time, which probably was wise.

The way it behaved Friday, when he holed eight putts from the 10-foot range or longer, he might not want to let it out of his sight.

Suh made one last birdie on the 18th that gave him a one-shot lead over past champion Hideki Matsuyama, with two-time Memorial champion Patrick Cantlay another shot behind.

“On the first hole, I made a 12-footer for par on the fringe. I just kind of kept the confidence with the putter going,” Suh said.

Two of his longer putts were to save par, and there were plenty of birdies along the way on another sunny, hot afternoon at Muirfield Village.

Matsuyama and Cantlay played in the morning, two players who consider the course Jack Nicklaus built among their favorites all year. Matsuyama’s putting was equal to what Suh produced in the afternoon, rolling in big birdie putts on his way to a tournament-best 65.

“To make those putts at 7 and 8 were huge,” Matsuyama said. “I made some good par-saving putts today. The course is playing tough, especially the greens. If the greens get even harder than they are now, it’s going to be a challenge this weekend. But today, the putts went in and so I’m satisfied.”

Cantlay was superb again from tee-to-green — the brand of golf that usually succeeds at Muirfield Village – and made enough putts for a 67. Several burned the edge of the cup. He also made a 50-foot birdie putt from the back of the green on No. 17.

The course played about a stroke easier, though it was a fair balance. Both days, the morning wave had relative calm and warm, the afternoon wave got wind and heat.

Suh was at 8-under 136 going into the week as he aims for his first PGA Tour title.

The PGA Tour packaged him with a strong college class in 2019 that featured Suh, who reached No. 1 as an amateur while playing at Southern California; Collin Morikawa of Cal; U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff of Oklahoma State.

Within weeks of turning pro, Wolff and Morikawa were PGA Tour winners. Hovland was not too far behind. Suh began missing cuts, dealt with a wrist injury and took a different route. He said it wasn’t difficult to watch their instant success.

“I thought the better they do, almost better for me. Because they’re the same year as me. If they can do it, I can do it. So it brought a little bit more confidence,” Suh said. “Over the course of three years I didn’t really think about what they were doing. I knew what I had to do to get better and I’ve stayed consistent doing the same things ever since I was in college.

“I think everyone is kind of on their own path.”

Suh won the Korn Ferry Tour points title last…

Read More: Justin Suh, Hideki Matsuyama ride hot putters at Memorial 2023-06-03 00:14:00

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