- Associated Press - Friday, May 30, 2014

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) - Ben Curtis grew up just a few miles from Muirfield Village Golf Club.

He’s seen the course designed by Jack Nicklaus bare its fangs. But most of the time, it’s been a docile track when the pros come to town about the same time the spring rains drench the course.

Maybe not this year, however.

A dry week - there are areas in the central part of the state that haven’t had rain in 10 days - has helped the course play harder and faster than usual. Curtis, who grew up in nearby Ostrander, Ohio, thinks it could get treacherous if, as is predicted, the rains stay away and the sun stays out throughout the weekend.

“Yesterday the balls were kind of hitting and stopping; today they were taking one or two bounces before they would stop and weren’t quite spinning back as much with the wedges,” said Curtis, who is at 4-under 140 after rounds of 69 and 71. “So, yeah, with the dry conditions and no rain in the forecast, it’s going to be fun.”

Last summer, Nicklaus was relishing the course hosting the Presidents Cup in the autumn because there usually is not much rain in Ohio in the fall. But the international competition - much like the Memorial, traditionally the first PGA Tour event up North each year - was plagued by hard rains, high winds and soft conditions.

But this tournament might be different.

“If it does stay dry, it’s going to be a great test over the weekend because we’re going to see the greens get a little fiery,” said Adam Scott, tied for ninth at 5-under 139.


LATE DISAPPOINTMENT: It appeared for a short time that Justin Rose had made the cut on the number by birdieing the final two holes.

But he knew better.

His iron shot into the signature par-3 12th hole in Friday’s second round of the Memorial Tournament nestled into the deep, thick grass just over the green.

“It was one of the worst lies I’ve had for a while,” Rose said. “Through the green and a shocking lie.”

Rose, who won the Memorial four years ago, took a limited swing at the ball because he feared that he might hit it more than once.

“I actually tried it and I knew that double-hitting it was a possibility,” he said. “So I tried to sort of leave the club there.”

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