X

Memorial Tournament 2018: Kyle Stanley, Joaquin Niemann Share Lead After Friday

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2018

DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 01:  Kyle Stanley of the United States watches his second shot on the ninth hole during the second round of The Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 1, 2018 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Two golfers are tied atop the 2018 Memorial Tournament leaderboard heading into the weekend.

Joaquin Niemann (four-under 68) and Kyle Stanley (six-under 66) used solid second rounds to keep pace up top. Niemann entered the day in a three-way tie for the lead after opening the tournament with a seven-under 65 and built on his strong start to move to 11-under for the tournament Friday. Hideki Matsuyama (-8 for the tournament) and Abraham Ancer (-4), who also shot 65 in Round 1, fell back in the pack.

Here's a look at where golfers stand at the midway point:

           

2018 Memorial Tournament — Round 2

T1. Kyle Stanley 66 (-11)

T1. Joaquin Niemann 68 (-11)

3. Byeong Hun An 67 (-9)

T4. Wesley Bryan 68 (-8)

T4. Hideki Matsuyama 71 (-8)

T4. Jason Day 68 (-8)

T4. J.B. Holmes 66 (-8)

T4. Bryson DeChambeau 67 (-8)

T9. Beau Hossler 71 (-7)

T9. Henrik Stenson 66 (-7)

T9. Gary Woodland 68 (-7)

T9. Justin Rose 66 (-7)

T9. Patrick Cantlay 69 (-7)

*Full leaderboard can be viewed at PGATour.com

          

Recap

For the second straight day, there is a tie for first heading into the clubhouse. And for the second straight day, Niemann is among those leading the way.

While he didn't repeat his 65 from Thursday, the 19-year-old golfer from Chile had another strong performance. He nabbed seven birdies on the day, including four on the back nine.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

19-year-old Niemann has nerves of steel. He'll share the lead into the weekend. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/ZCQtv08hL5

The difference between Thursday and Friday? His mistakes. He had one bogey in the opening round but slipped up with three in the second round.

Even with the hiccups, the teen has a share of the lead entering the weekend.

As for co-leader Stanley, the 30-year-old American made a charge Friday on the strength of eight birdies:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

There were plenty of highlights to go around Friday at @MemorialGolf. https://t.co/kPgWawknef

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Your leader at #theMemorial ... @KyleStanleyGolf! Wedge game strong. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/6oc67lyjaK

With just two bogeys on his scorecard, he climbed up the leaderboard from fifth to end the day tied with Niemann.

It was a brutal day in Dublin, Ohio, for Ancer. After putting up a 65 on Thursday behind eight birdies and just one bogey, he was one-over on six different holes in Round 2. That rough turn of events dropped him from first into a tie for 35th.

And then there's five-time Memorial champ Tiger Woods. The 42-year-old opened the tournament with an even-par 72, but he surged up the leaderboard Friday.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Tiger's turning it around. First 7 holes: +4 Next 21 holes: -7 #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/VaNm3aQcz3

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

6-under today (so far). @TigerWoods has the round of the day going. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/ZiBaKzwuMv

He even had arguably the highlight of the day with an eagle on 11:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

🚨 EAGLE HOLE-OUT FOR @TIGERWOODS! 🚨 ... and the crowd goes WILD. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/zVNvgJmmRA

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The early call. Tiger knew it. https://t.co/oWjuL5dFA7

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

This place was a madhouse. 🦅 Thanks, Tiger. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/EKdWBB5NyR

Five birdies and an eagle outweighed two bogeys as he shot a five-under 67 on the day. He sits six strokes back of the lead in a tie for 24th.

While many competitors would have been happy with the round Woods had, the 14-time major champ thought he should've ended the day with a better score.

"I did not putt well today," Woods said, via PGATour.com's Cameron Morfit. "It could have been easily a nice little 62 or 63. I turned it into a 67."

Tiger wasn't the only veteran making moves. Phil Mickelson also put himself in contention with a six-under 66:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

3 birdies in 4 holes. Phil's not waiting for Moving Day. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/GPBO2OdOAm

Six birdies on the front nine helped him bounce back from a two-over 74 on Thursday, and Mickelson finds himself seven shots back of first place. If he can continue the momentum into the weekend, he has a chance to make things interesting.

As Friday showed, a lot can change at the Memorial in 18 holes. The stage is set for what should be an entertaining weekend.