Ludvig Aberg, Viktor Hovland looking to chase down Scottie Scheffler at the Memorial

Ludvig Åberg and Viktor Hovland are in contention at the Memorial Tournament. However, they will have to chase down Scottie Scheffler to do so.

Hovland fired off his second straight 3-under 69 to sit at 6-under, three shots behind Scheffler. Åberg shot an even-par 72 on Friday to stay at 4-under, five shots off the pace.

Scheffler shot a 4-under 68 to get to 9-under, as he holds firm control of the tournament.

The conditions at Muirfield Village were rough, as the wind gave many players fits. Yet, the two Ryder Cup partners stayed focused to avoid dropping down the leaderboard.

Hovland recorded five birdies and two bogeys in round two. Although he may have shot the same score, the 26-year-old felt the track played much tougher on Friday.

“The greens were firmer today, so that already makes the greens play a little bit smaller,” Hovland said.

“Some nice gusts and steady winds make it even more difficult. I did a good job of hitting a bunch of fairways, but even then, there was a lot of thinking and guessing going into the greens. It’s hard to get it close to the hole, but I managed to do that today.”

Hovland led the field on Friday in greens in regulation as he hit 16-of-18. He was also fourth in driving accuracy, with 12-of-14 drives finding the fairway—a massive improvement from Thursday’s round when he hit only nine fairways and 10 greens.

“I thought there were some tricky pins [on Thursday], but there were some good ones today as well,” Hovland said.

“I’m just happy to play better today. Hit it a lot nicer. I missed a few short ones, but still, yeah, just played great.”

Åberg had to grind throughout his round. He recorded two birdies and two bogeys. However, those 14 pars proved huge, keeping him on the first page of the leaderboard.

The former Texas Tech Red Raider felt his game improved even if the scorecard did not indicate that.

“Even though it played harder and the score wasn’t the same, it still felt a little bit better, I guess,” Åberg said.

“I’m pleased with the result. It was a tough day, a lot of up-and-downs and bunker shots and whatnot. So, overall, I’m looking forward to the next couple of days.”

One of his best moments of the day came at the par-4 17th. He made an incredible hole-out from the greenside bunker for birdie.

Åberg played alongside Scheffler the first two days but was not intimidated. Most players know the two-time Masters champion will do great things on the course.

“I can only do myself and can control what I can control,” Åberg said.

“He’s playing very, very good golf, and it doesn’t look very difficult when he’s playing, but all I can do is try to keep up and make sure I’m not too far behind.”

Åberg and Hovland are within reach, especially with 36 holes to play. If Hovland keeps playing this well, he could win back-to-back Memorial Tournaments. However, the track will only get harder to tackle as it sinks its teeth into these players. Chasing down Scheffler adds to the overall challenge, too.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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