Levin cashes in as Woods stumbles on back nine

Journeyman hopes for first PGA Tour title as four-times champion loses way

muirfield village

Spencer Levin stole the limelight from the four-times champion Tiger Woods at the Memorial tournament yesterday, twice chipping in to take a one-shot lead in the wind-buffeted third round.

The American journeyman Levin, chasing hius first PGA Tour title, survived anxious moments on the back nine to card a three-under-par 69 and take control of the event hosted by golfing great Jack Nicklaus.

The 27-year-old shrugged off bogeys at the 12th and 16th, then sank a par putt from 14 feet at the 17th to post an eight-under total of 208.

The overnight leader Rory Sabbatini, of South Africa, had a 71 to finish at seven under, two better than the American Rickie Fowler, who birdied two of the last four holes for a 69.

Woods, who briefly led early in the third round, was alone in fourth at four under, recording four bogeys after the turn for a 73 as winds gusted up to 35 mph. "I had my opportunities to move up that board," Woods said after covering the back nine in three-over 39. "I missed a few putts that I should have made. I'm only four back but I've still got a lot of work to do tomorrow."

Woods sank a 22-foot birdie putt from the fringe of the green at the par-four first to join Sabbatini in a two-way tie at the top. Moments later, Woods held the outright lead when Sabbatini bogeyed the opening hole.

Woods was caught by Levin and Sabbatini before Levin took control, chipping in for an eagle at the par-five fifth. The chain-smoking Levin forged three ahead after hitting a superb approach to five feet at the par-four sixth and sinking the birdie putt.

Though Levin had his lead cut to one after he bogeyed the seventh where Woods had birdied, he never relinquished control. He chipped in from 30 yards to birdie the par-four 10th and stretch his lead to four shots.

Levin stumbled at the treacherous par-three 12th, where he was bunkered off the tee, and also at the 16th where he missed the green, but he parred the last two holes to stay in front.

At Celtic Manor, Ross Fisher overcame a foot injury to keep himself in the hunt for the Wales Open, a round of 71 taking him into the final day on six under, one shot behind Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.

Fisher had stubbed his toe in his hotel room on Friday night. "One of the toes is as purple as anything," he said. "I iced it and two of the toes were strapped together, but I hit it everywhere and I'm glad to finish."

He was joined in second place by Holland's Joost Luiten, who went round in 64. Fisher, who had held a two-shot lead, made five bogeys to let the former paratrooper Jaidee take over at the top with a round of 67.

Suggested Topics
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam