By Teresa M. Walker/The Associated Press
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III shot his third straight 2-under 68 on Saturday to join Nick O’Hern and John Merrick atop the leaderboard at the windy St. Jude Classic.
Love only committed to play in Memphis recently, waiting to make sure he was healthy enough to use this event as a final tuneup for the U.S. Open after qualifying Monday in Columbus, Ohio. Love, who hasn’t won since 2008, had three birdies and only one bogey Saturday to match O’Hern and Merrick at 6 under 204. O’Hern had a 67, and Merrick shot 69.
Rory McIlroy, who will try to defend his U.S. Open title next week at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, had a one-stroke lead when he teed off. He shot a 2-over 72 in a round that featured six bogeys and four birdies to drop in a tie at 5 under.
Dustin Johnson, making his second start after a 2 1/2-month layoff recovering from back pain, also was in the group at 5 under after a 67.