Halfway hut at the Memorial Tournament: Jon Rahm shares lead in rain-hit Ohio

A round-up of the best stats, quotes and social after two days of this week’s PGA TOUR event at Muirfield Village.

Jon Rahm, the defending champion, hasn't quite reached the halfway hut at Memorial this week.

With thunderstorms causing lengthy disruptions on day one, it meant there was a lot of catching up to do on Friday.

Rahm still had the vast majority of his opening lap to complete and eventually handed in a 3-under 69 to position himself nicely.

And when he came out for round two soon after, the Spaniard reeled off six birdies and a bogey in his first 13 holes before the horn blew to end play for darkness.

That charge left Rahm tied at the top on 8-under alongside 36-hole clubhouse leader Patrick Cantlay, who birdied his final three holes in a second-round 67.

The pair are two clear of Scottie Scheffler although Rahm still has five holes to complete on Saturday morning and will have the chance to lead on his own.

Much of the talk among punters this week was about the major renovations at the Jack Nicklaus par 72 and how they could affect previous course form.

On the evidence so far the answer is 'not much': Rahm won here in 2020 and Cantlay the year before!

Two other course winners were also in the top eight when darkness descended on Friday evening: Collin Morikawa, who landed the Workday Charity Open played at Muirfield Village last year, and Hideki Matsuyama, the 2014 Memorial champion.

Two-time Memorial runner-up Rickie Fowler is tied for fifth. He has seven holes to complete while Xander Schauffele, also at 5-under and three back, has six.

If there's an obvious message here, it's that a tournament venue is about overall visuals and a vibe rather than just a set of 18 holes. If you like going there, tweaks to the course, even if supposedly fairly significant, are not the overriding factor.

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As it stands, the projected cut is +2 so Gary Woodland and Matt Fizpatrick, both +4 after 14, have work to do if they want to play the final 36 holes.

The rest of the big names should be part of the full weekend cast although Rahm has the chance to put plenty of distance between himself and Justin Thomas (-2 after 13), Jordan Spieth (-1), Bryson DeChambeau (-1) and Rory McIlroy (Evs). The latter three have all completed 36 holes.

Paddy Power odds: 2/1 Jon Rahm, 7/2 Patrick Cantlay, 8/1 Xander Schauffele, 12/1 Scottie Scheffler, 20/1 Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau, 22/1 Max Homa, 28/1 Rickie Fowler, 33/1 Justin Thomas, Carlos Ortiz, 50/1 Victor Hovland

Here are the best stats, quotes and social from Muirfield Village after two days.

Click here for the leaderboard

Stats and facts

Rahm has held the halfway lead four times in his career (three on the PGA Tour and once in Europe). However, he didn't convert once, finishing 3-4-2-7.

In fact, it may be worth having a word in his ear to post 7-under and sit one back. The last six times Rahm has been one behind at halfway, he's gone on to win on three occasions. That includes this event last year as well as the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge and the 2017 Irish Open.

With five holes still to play in round two, Rahm is ranked 6th for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and 9th in SG: Putting. He's also 5th for Off The Tee but only 34th for Approach.

Joint-leader Cantlay was two off the pace after 36 holes when he won the 2019 Memorial and also two back when landing 2020's ZOZO Championship.

Like Rahm, Cantlay would also be better off not leading at halfway if past results are anything to go by. He's 0-for-6 when leading at the midpoint, finishing 24-2-4-2-12-8.

Cantlay is ranked 2nd for SG: Tee To Green, 8th for Approach, 15th for Putting, 16th Off The Tee and 17th Around The Green. All parts of his game look impressive.

Scheffler is 9th Tee To Green and 13th in Putting but he's just 2-for-6 from sand so far.

Quotes

A look at what some of the leading players said. Rahm, a late starter, didn't speak to the press.

Patrick Cantlay on recent improvements and his long day

"Just fundamentals and getting my swing back to a place that I can start the ball where I'm looking all the time. I wasn't too far off, just a little off. So golf's like that sometimes. You're not always perfectly on. But lately I've been playing really well. I played well at the PGA and my game's in a good spot.

"I'm pretty tired. I woke up at 4:30 this morning and started my warm-up and played 33 and this golf course is one of the harder walks, so, yeah, it was a pleasant surprise to birdie the last three."

Scottie Scheffler on his day and overall play this season

"I wouldn't really consider it a rollercoaster, I just got off to a slow start and made a few mental errors early, which was a little sloppy. And then I did a did good job focusing down the stretch, those last 12, 13 holes, I played a really clean round of golf. I think I only had one bogey on No. 1, I just got a really weird break. Other than that I played really solid and stayed focused, even though I was getting a little tired there at the end.

"I feel like I'm really close. I just got to keep giving myself chances, playing good golf. This year I feel like I haven't hit the ball as good as I needed to, to be able to compete and win, but I feel like my irons are starting to turn around, I'm starting to hit some really good shots and I feel like my game's in good shape."

Jordan Spieth on recovering from an opening 76 to shoot 67 in round two

"I needed something to stop the bleeding this morning. So it was nice and just got off to a better start. Just hit the first couple fairways, which is really nice and then that was really it. I mean, there wasn't a whole lot of difference, I just drove the ball a little better in the second round.

"And you just can't play out of the rough out here, it's that simple. And I've shot some 7-under rounds out here and I've shot some over 80 out here and the difference is playing out of the fairway. So luckily two more rounds to try and shoot 5-under each round I guess would be a good goal."

Bryson DeChambeau after rounds of 71-72

"It was a long day, man. I mean, I thought we were going to play obviously yesterday, came back out 6:30 ready to go and, man, just thunder kept coming and it was a long day now two days almost for the most part.

"And then wasn't feeling great on Wednesday, body was a little sour. But was able to fix it nicely, thank goodness. Wednesday night. And then came back out, I was hitting the ball really, really well yesterday, started off really, really well and unfortunately just kind of got it going the wrong way today.

"Golf swing kind of went out of whack a little bit. The driver just wasn't performing the way I wanted to (he's 79th for SG: Off The Tee). And I wedged it really well I was really proud of myself the way I handled, you know, hitting a couple out of bounds and just not having the best of my game. So all in all it's not my best, but certainly worked hard to get it in and here for the weekend."

Rory McIlroy after a pair of 72s

"I played okay. I played all right. It's a tough track. Jack's made it a bit tougher this year, the rough's really thick, obviously with all that rain yesterday it's super lush today. It's hard, because they haven't been able to get the mowers on it.

"You'll hit a tee shot that's a decent tee shot, maybe a little bit off line, going towards one of the fairway bunkers, but it's happened to -- it happened to each of us at least once today, Viktor, Adam and myself, where a ball's going in a bunker but it stops in this really thick rough around it and it's really tricky and so you can be only slightly off and be penalized pretty badly around here at the minute just because of, I guess, the conditions and a little bit of the setup."

Adam Scott on the course changes

"Yeah, look, I love Muirfield Village and, you know, he's made some pretty significant changes on some holes and I think it's playing out nicely. New challenges for us to learn. But you would have to do something pretty horrific to mess this golf course up. It's really such a beautiful property and I love playing here all these years, I would love to win it one day."

Social

Rahm's tap-in to tie, Cantlay's hot finish, Fowler chips in, DeChambeau eagles and Morikawa's moment in the sun.

Rahm's walk-off birdie

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Cantlay's hot triple-birdie finish

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Rickie's chip-in

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Eagle from Bryson

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Sunshine golf from Morikawa

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READ MORE: Xander Schauffele locked in a dilemma: He'd ban the putter he's turned to

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