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Spencer Levin out front at Memorial heading into final round
Woods is four shots back
DUBLIN, Ohio — Spencer Levin realizes that a one-shot lead going into the final round means next to nothing. If he didn’t learn this by blowing a six-shot lead at the Phoenix Open earlier this year, he was reminded of it on the back nine Saturday at the Memorial.
For the longest time, Levin simply couldn’t miss. He chipped in for eagle from behind the fifth green. He holed a chip from 30 yards short of the 10th green for birdie, this one giving him a four-shot lead on a tough day at Muirfield Village.
Eight holes later, his lead was down to one over Rory Sabbatini.
If that wasn’t enough, a collection of stars and proven players were lined up behind him — including four-time Memorial champion Tiger Woods.
Levin relied on a few good breaks and one good par save to match the low round of the day with a 3-under 69, giving him another chance at his first PGA Tour victory and an opportunity to get into the U.S. Open on Sunday without having to go through a 36-hole qualifier.
The circumstances are far different from when Levin lost that six-shot lead in Phoenix, not only the margin but the caliber of players chasing him. He’ll find out Sunday if he learned from his failure, though the self-styled Californian already is loaded with perspective.
“I did learn that I still got to play golf, I still got to eat the same stuff, still have the same friends, still have the same family, so nothing really changed,” he said. “Obviously, you want to win when you’re in positions. But I’m just going to go out there tomorrow and have fun. Nothing really changed in my life, and I don’t think anything will change that big in my life if I do win. It’s just going out there and try and do my best.”
It might take more than that.
The attention figures to be on the twosome in front of them — Rickie Fowler (69), the Quail Hollow winner who has been playing his best golf over the last month, and Woods, whose other win this year came in demanding conditions at Bay Hill. Woods bogeyed two of the last three holes for a 73.
“Four shots is definitely manageable around this golf course, considering the conditions and what they’re going to be tomorrow,” Woods said. “A lot of guys are still in this ballgame. It’ll be an exciting day tomorrow.”
Levin provided plenty of excitement during the first few hours Saturday.
For a guy who has never won, Levin is easy to identify. He twists and turns his body on just about every shot, willing it to turn in various directions. He rarely is without a cigarette. And he lets the world know exactly what he’s thinking. This is not the stereotype of a golfing robot.
If he sounds as if winning or losing doesn’t matter, don’t believe it.
By Tammy Bruce
Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce are bossy women trying to ban bossy from our vocabulary
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