Steele, Kuchar tied for Memorial lead


American pair Matt Kuchar and Brendan Steele took control of the Memorial Tournament as Dustin Johnson dropped down the leaderboard after Friday's second round.

Johnson set the pace in the opening round to earn a one-stroke lead but he was unable to maintain that form, with countrymen Kuchar and Steele rising to the summit by a solitary stroke at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Kuchar and Steele are tied for the lead at 12 under through 36 holes, ahead of Emiliano Grillo (66) and Gary Woodland (65), while Johnson (71) is three shots off the pace in Dublin, Ohio.

Consistency has been Kuchar's strong suit this season and it was highlighted further on day two after the seven-time PGA Tour champion carded his second successive six-under-par 66.

Kuchar, who finished tied for sixth at last week's Dean & DeLuca Invitational having placed third at both the AT&T Byron Nelson and The Players Championship, was near flawless on Friday, dropping just one shot as he holed seven birdies.

The 37-year-old made sure of his spot atop the leaderboard thanks to two birdies from his final three holes.

Steele enjoyed a similar round after posting a five-under-par 67, which included six birdies and one bogey.

The game's big three, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy remain in contention heading into the weekend.

World number one Day did not have it easy but the Australian rallied strong with a final-hole birdie for a second-round 71, to be seven under overall.

Northern Irishman and four-time major champion McIlroy is also five shots behind the leading pair following his impressive six-under-par 66.

Having reverted back to a conventional putting stroke, McIlroy climbed the standings with eight birdies, five of those coming on the front nine. 

As for Spieth, the world number two is a shot further back after recording a 68, set up by a flawless back nine featuring four birdies.