Lefty Langley feels good about Memorial chances

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 31, 2014 at 6:13 pm •  Published: May 31, 2014
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DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — No lefty has ever won in the 38 years of the Memorial Tournament.

Now the two guys with the best chances of shaking right hands with tournament founder Jack Nicklaus on Sunday are both left-handed.

One is Bubba Watson. The other isn't Phil Mickelson.

It's Scott Langley, a household name only at his house in Illinois, who will join Watson in the final pairing. Watson holds a one-shot lead over Langley heading into the final round.

A non-winner in 52 PGA Tour events, the 25-year-old University of Illinois grad will try to rein in his emotions when he steps into the big spotlight.

"Out here, maybe the intensity is a little higher and there's a little more at stake," he said, comparing college competition with what he faces every week as a second-year pro. "So I'm just kind of stepping back and taking a deep breath and staying centered in the moment."

Langley finished third at the Sony Open a year ago in his rookie season on the PGA Tour. This year he placed third again at the Valspar Open.

He tied for 68th last week at Colonial, but felt he got a bump from his 69 on Sunday.

"Sometimes the good weeks come out of nowhere," he said. "I didn't play great at Colonial last week but I felt like I had a really good final round. So maybe a little bit of momentum kind of pushed me into this week."

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BUBBA ON 18: While Bubba Watson was bogeying the final hole to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Memorial, a close-up of his fourth shot created some controversy.

Watson was using his 3-wood to bump the ball from the collar of the rough below the hole when it appeared he slightly touched it with the club.

The PGA Tour was watching. And re-watching.

"We looked at it in real time," said tour rules official Slugger White. "It looked like he may have touched it. And the ball didn't move. That's all. It was easy."

Under rule 18-2a, a player when addressing the ball can make contact with it and no penalty is given if the ball returns to its original position.

White said there was no real debate about whether the ball ever really moved.

"I wouldn't even call it moving," he said. "I don't think it even moved out of where it was."

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OPPOSITE OF AWESOME: Phil Mickelson's day could be summed up by his reaction when he walked into the post-round interview room after shooting a pedestrian 72 on Saturday at the Memorial Tournament.

"Awesome," he said, tongue in cheek, as he surveyed the reporters handling cameras, microphones, notebooks and tape recorders.

Mickelson is being investigated by the FBI for alleged involvement in insider trading. He denies he has done anything wrong and says he has cooperated and is cooperating fully with authorities.

Mickelson, a five-time major-championship winner and the reigning British Open champion, planned to use the Memorial to hone his game for the U.S. Open in two weeks at Pinehurst.

He felt he could put the investigation behind him.

"I think that as a player you have to be able to block out whatever is going on off the golf course and be able to focus on the golf course," he said. "And it's not going to change the way I carry myself."

Mickelson has had rounds of 72, 70 and 70 to stand at 2-under 214.

As he made the turn a fan, unaware of the irony, shouted, "Take care of business, Phil!"

He had his good moments and bad. He birdied the 14th and 15th holes, only to follow up with bogeys on the next two holes. He missed a couple of short birdie putts, and also holed a couple of lengthy ones to save par.

He was asked to describe his round.

"Interesting," he said with a grin. "Most of my rounds are, but just for other reasons."

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CURSED HOLES: The 16th at the Memorial Tournament continues to be a major test for everyone.

But other players say the 18th might be the toughest on the property.