2024 Memorial Tournament scores, takeaways: Scottie Scheffler surges to top after Round 2 at Muirfield Village

Not even a windy, tricky day at Jack’s place could slow down Scottie Scheffler. On a day when Muirfield Village played more than one stroke over par and five players failed to break 80, the world No. 1 fired a 4-under 68 to take control of the Memorial Tournament heading into the weekend.

Scheffler stands at 9 under, three clear of defending champion Viktor Hovland and first-round leader Adam Hadwin, and in prime position to grab his fifth victory of the season. Not only would a triumph on Sunday mark his fifth overall this season, but it would represent his second signature event win with the other at the Players Championship. This, of course, is in addition to his Masters win. 

No player has reached five victories in a single season in a little bit of time as Scheffler aims to join the likes of Justin Thomas (2017), Jason Day (2015) and Jordan Spieth (2015) as players to accomplish the feat over the last decade. The Memorial may ultimately be just a stepping stone to more history as he could threaten the all-time PGA Tour record of nine wins in a season held by Tiger Woods (2000) and Vijay Singh (2004) if successful this week.

While it seems almost certain the 27-year-old will pay off his 36-hole lead into another $4 million winner’s check, Scheffler will still need his best over the second half of this tournament given the names that lurk. 

That, of course, includes the man who conquered Muirfield Village a season ago. Hovland holed three back-nine birdies to get in the house at 6 under and directly beneath Scheffler’s name on the leaderboard. After a slow start to his year, the reigning FedEx Cup champion has continued his resurgence, which first surfaced at the PGA Championship.

Even without his best from tee to green, PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele is still right there at 3 under. Channeling some back-nine heroics to turn wayward shots into wonderful moments, Schauffele is trying his best to pace with the world No. 1 and stands alongside names like Rory McIlroy and Tony Finau, both of whom are in need of a massive Moving Day if they are to usurp the top name in the game.

The leader

1. Scottie Scheffler (-9)

It’s just not a fair fight when the best driver in the world is also the best iron player in the world and just so happens to have the best short game in the world. Scheffler’s Friday was impressive for a number of reasons, but the biggest shake of the head had to come on the par-4 10th when he yanked his second shot into proverbial jail. Doing well to keep his third on the green, Scheffler strutted his par putt in from 15 feet to remain bogey free at the time. 

After a couple of sloppy squares followed, the world No. 1 laced the long iron of the day into the par-5 15th to set up an eagle and get both mistakes back. A birdie from the fairway bunker on the 18th put a bow on a closing stretch that saw him go from tied for the lead to leading by three.

“I think I had about 235 pin,” Scheffler said of his shot into No. 15. “It was just a kind of nice hold 3-iron and, yeah, felt like I had a good number, and it’s nice when I have a number where I want to cut it and the pin’s on the right and that was one of those instances. So I was able to hit a really nice shot in there pretty close to the pin and hole the putt.”

Other contenders

T2. Viktor Hovland, Adam Hadwin (-6)
T4. Keegan Bradley, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (-5)
6. Ludvig Åberg (-4)
T8. Tony Finau, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Akshay Bhatia (-3)
T11. Collin Morikawa, Si Woo Kim, Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka (-2)

When looking at the grand scheme of things, the turnaround in Hovland’s game is insane. Without a top-10 finish across the first four months of the season, Hovland returned to his old swing coach, Joe Mayo, and instantly reverted to his old quality. A podium finish at the PGA Championship may only be the beginning for the Norwegian as he opened his defense effort with back-to-back 69s. He ranks second to Scheffler in terms of strokes gained tee to green and third on approach.

“It’s key just finding a playable feel, something that’s going to be different and actually make you hit it better, but it’s still got to be simple enough for you to do under the gun because it’s — you don’t have a lot of time to tinker out there,” Hovland said. “It’s just when the course is so hard, you got to know where the ball’s going.”

Fan favorites falling flat

It’s a tough time to be a Rickie Fowler or Jordan Spieth fan. The two won’t be around for the weekend at the Memorial, which is just an extension of what has been a miserable 2024 for both players. Fowler failed to break 80 on Friday and has continued to trend downwards ever since returning to the winner’s circle last summer in Detroit. In his 21 starts since, the 35-year-old has zero top-15 finishes and has dropped 20 places in the Official World Golf Rankings.

While Fowler may not have any excuses, there’s a chance Spieth does. He continues to drive the ball perhaps as well as ever while getting absolutely nothing out of his approach play likely due to his lingering wrist injury. After a solid start to his year with contention runs in Kapalua and Scottsdale, Spieth has missed five cuts, been disqualified and finished inside the top 10 only once in his last 12 starts.

2024 Memorial Tournament updated odds, picks

  • Scottie Scheffler: 1/2
  • Viktor Hovland: 13/2
  • Xander Schauffele: 18-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 20-1
  • Ludvig Åberg: 20-1
  • Keegan Bradley: 25-1
  • Adam Hadwin: 25-1
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 30-1

Scheffler’s eagle on 15 and closing birdie really changed the complexion of this tournament and shortened the list of potential winners (possibly down to one). If you are willing to lay -200 on the best player in the world, be my guest, but I think there’s still a chance — albeit slim — that Scheffler is unsuccessful this weekend. Finau at 65-1 seems a hair long after putting together a second-round 70 during some of the most difficult conditions, and he has the firepower to make up the margin if the stars align.

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