DUBLIN, Ohio – Here is a recap of Thursday’s first round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village:
LEADING: Hideki Matsuyama, the 2014 Memorial Tournament winner, was one of three players who opened Thursday with a 7-under 65 and shares the first-round lead at Muirfield Village with Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann.
Matsuyama was just 1 under through 12 holes before catching fire on the back nine. He birdied Nos. 13-16, making a 17-footer for birdie at the par-4 13th and wedging to within 3 feet at both the par-4 14th and par-5 15th. His best wedge shot of all, though, came at the par-4 17th, where he holed a 137-yard shot for eagle.
The 26-year-old World No. 10 is coming off his best finish since a left-wrist injury knocked him out of Phoenix – he was ranked fifth in the world at the time – and kept him out six weeks. Two weeks ago at the Byron Nelson, Matsuyama tied for 16th, just his second top-20 in six starts post-injury.
“It has been frustrating,” Matsuyama said. “In the past, even if I wasn’t playing well, the results were, I could still get it around, get it in the hole. So the last couple of months have been trying. I’m just really glad that I was able to play well today and post a good score at the start.”
CHASING: Beau Hossler, who last month lost in a playoff at the Houston Open, is fourth, one shot back. Grayson Murray and Lucas Glover are among those at 5 under while Jason Day, whose T-15 at the 2017 Memorial was his first top-25 in nine trips to Dublin, is part of a big group at 4 under.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Hideki’s big bird at 17.
QUOTABLE: “Actually have great memories of this place. My freshman year of college (at Odessa College) I got the Jack Nicklaus Award and I got to come here as a freshman, Sunday, get that award from Jack. That was incredible and I just I can’t imagine, it was like Deja Vu walking the fairways, watching from outside and now playing. It’s a dream come true obviously. And today I felt great. I hit the ball really good off the tee, hit my irons well, and I putted well and I scrambled really good. So when you do that it’s usually a pretty good round.” – Ancer
SHORT SHOTS: Tiger Woods rallied from being 4 over after seven holes to shoot even-par 72. … Adam Scott missed a putt of 2 feet, 9 inches on his final hole to shoot 72. … Defending champion Jason Dufner carded a 75. … Phil Mickelson, 4 under through eight holes, double-bogeyed the ninth, added four back-nine bogeys and shot 74. … Rory McIlroy also posted 74. … Jordan Spieth had a frustrating day, recording a 75.