DUBLIN, Ohio – Need a few ways to measure Luke Donald’s scintillating 8-under 64 in the first round of the Memorial Tournament? Consider:
1) It’s 10 shots better than the current field average (74.145).
2) He was 13 and 11 shots better than playing competitors, Fredrik Jacobson and Jeff Quinney, respectively.
3) In fact, if Jacobson and Quinney were playing as a team, they would have been whipped by Donald, 4 and 3.
Going off in the first group, you might suggest that Donald took advantage of soft conditions, but that wouldn’t be correct. After all, Jacobson shot 77, Quinney 75, and in that same time off of the 10th tee, John Rollins posted 80.
Conditions were not soft. In the morning wave, only six players broke 70, so sometimes you have to simply tip your cap and offer a round of applause to a brilliant round of golf.
Well done, Mr. Donald, even if you were 1-over after one hole.
“All good rounds start with a bogey,” the Englishman quipped.
Donald got that back with a birdie at the second, but his day truly began at the eighth when he made the first of six straight birdies. Then, after a par at the 14th, Donald birdied two more and eventually got into the clubhouse three shots better than his nearest competitor (Jim Furyk, 67). His 64 tied the tournament record for lowest first round.
The afternoon players are out there now, but Donald has given them something fairly improbable to go after.