Matt Kuchar thrived in tough conditions that sent Tiger Woods to the worst nine holes of his PGA Tour career Saturday morning.
Kuchar survived a nasty combination of swirling wind and fast greens at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, for a 2-under-par 70, giving him a two-shot lead over Kevin Chappell and Kyle Stanley going into the final round of the Memorial.
‘‘It was a bit of survival,’’ Kuchar said. ‘‘I was fortunate to make a handful of birdies. I think any time you make a birdie in these conditions, you feel like you’re really up on the field here. Most of these holes, you’re looking at just getting out with a par.’’
Woods didn’t get away with anything.
Going for his sixth win at the Memorial, and his fourth victory in his last five tournaments, Woods had two double bogeys and a triple bogey on the back nine for a 44, exceeding by one shot his highest nine-hole total as a pro. And he shot that without a penalty shot. He wound up 16 shots out of the lead after a 79.
The tournament was happy just to complete 54 holes with mid-afternoon storms that avoided Muirfield Village.
Kuchar was at 8-under 208, among 10 players separated by only four shots.
Bill Haas, the 36-hole leader, ran off three straight bogeys late in his round for a 76. He is still only three shots back, and it wasn’t hard to determine that par was a good score.
Chappell shot a 68 to match the low score of the round, his only bogey on the par-5 11th hole when he drove out-of-bounds.
LPGA — Shanshan Feng shot a 4-under 67 before the wind picked up and grabbed a three-shot lead after two rounds of the ShopRite Classic in Galloway Township, N.J.
Feng, who last year won the LPGA Championship, has a 6-under 136 total on the wind-whipped Bay Course at the Stockton Hotel and Golf Club.
First-round co-leader Moriya Jutanugarn (73) and Haeji Kang (69) share second at 3 under. Jutanugarn had a 73, and Kang shot 69.
Defending champion Stacy Lewis shot an 80 to fall from third into a tie for 50th. Michelle Wie rolled in four straight birdies on her back nine and was 4 under until a double bogey, bogey finish for a 73 that dropped her to 1 under and tied for sixth.
European — Mikko Ilonen took a two-shot lead over Alexander Noren (64) after three rounds of the Nordea Masters in Stockholm. The 33-year-old Finn shot a 7-under 65 in wet conditions to move to 18-under 198 on the Bro Hof Slott course.
Champions — Duffy Waldorf shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Charity Classic in Des Moines. Waldorf is at 8-under 136 total. Bart Bryant (64) and Jay Don Blake (66) were tied for second.
NCAA — Thomas Pieters of Illinois beat Max Homa with a par on the 20th hole to give Illinois a 3-2 victory over California in the semifinals of the national championship in Milton, Ga. The 15th-seeded Illini will face Alabama in Sunday’s final. The Crimson Tide beat host Georgia Tech, 3-0-2.