Tiger Woods hits his tee shot to 4 feet on the 200 yard, par-3 fourth hole and sinks the putt for birdie.
Amanda Balionis and the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio team preview Round 2 of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, where Scott Stallings holds the lead alone at 6-under par.
Check out the best shots from Round 1 as seen on our exclusive online stream.
Following his opening-round 67 at the 2012 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, Erik Compton meets with the media and talks about getting back on track.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- So far, the 2012 season has been a "lackluster" one for Scott Stallings. His words, not ours. He even went so far as to say that lackluster "would be an understatement."
Stallings, though, is being a bit hard on himself. After all he tore cartilage in five ribs, as well as an intercostal muscle, after the Sony Open in Hawaii. He tried to play through the pain, entering three more events, before heading home to Tennessee where a doctor suggested an MRI that revealed the damage.
Even after a month's rest and an ample supply of painkillers, Stallings has been searching for the kind of form that enabled him to win the Greenbrier Classic as a rookie last year. Until Thursday, that is, as he shot a 66, only his third sub-70 round all season, to take the lead at the Memorial Tournament.
"I wasn't able to work out, wasn't able to do the things you need to do to play against the best players in the world," Stallings said, alluding to the self-doubt that crept into his mind during the 35-day layoff. "Now I'm cleared and happy to be able to play injury-free.
Stallings, who just got the go-ahead to hit the fitness trailer two weeks ago, birdied three of his last four holes to seize a one-stroke advantage over Erik Compton and Spencer Levin. He hit nine fairways, 13 greens and used just 25 putts on a course he says he "loves" after tying for 20th last year and at a tournament that is his favorite non-major.
"It was a great start," Stallings said. "I definitely haven't
played very good up to this point. ... I stayed positive all
throughout being injured and stuff like that. I kept telling
myself that it was only a matter of time before a round like this
was coming around.
"... My caddie and I came in on Sunday, they gave us a golf cart, and played 27 holes and just kind of ran around the golf course. So I became more and more comfortable with it as the week went on."
Stallings played the par 5s particularly well on Thursday, making a chip-in eagle at the seventh hole and three other birdies. The eagle, which moved Stallings to 3 under, seemed to jump-start his round.
"That was kind of the moment that my caddie is like, all right,
here we go," Stallings said. "I was kind of starting to build some
momentum. I started hitting some really good shots. ... Obviously
any time you have a little chip that goes in like that, it's a
bonus. But it was kind of the moment -- I think that was the most
under par I'd been since Kapalua. And that's a long time ago.
"To be 3 under through 7 and kind of be able to build upon that was something that was pretty big instead of just kind of being there and hanging around. So hopefully we can build on it for the rest of the week."
DUBLIN, Ohio – Thursday’s first round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance is complete at Muirfield Village. Here is a final update and are real-time updates as they happened. Feel free to join the discussion as the first round unfolds.
DUBLIN, Ohio -- On a day when Muirfield Village was at its most challenging, Scott Stallings rolled in a 3-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to take sole possession of the lead after the first round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
Stallings shot a 66 that left him one stroke ahead of Erik Compton and Spencer Levin. Compton used a string of three straight birdies on the back nine to shoot his 67 while Levin surged when he made an eagle and a birdie in his last three holes.
For Stallings, who won the Greenbrier Classic as a rookie last season, the 66 was his low round of the year. He's been battling torn cartilage and bruised ribs since the Humana Challenge presented by the Clinton Foundation. In fact, Stallings had not broken 70 since the first day at Waialai Country Club, a span of 29 rounds.
"We've got a long way to go," he said. "I was happy to get a good round under par. I haven't had a round under par since Saturday at Augusta. It's been a long time. Been really struggling with my game coming back from injury, and I was healed, I wasn't healed, and kind of the ebbs and flows that go along with that.
"It's been interesting to say the least."
Muirfield Village, a course Stallings says he "loves" after tying for 20th in his debut last year, wasn't particularly generous, though. The course played more than a stroke over par at 73.275 and served up 72 double bogeys, including 27 on the final three holes.
Tiger Woods rebounded from one of those double bogeys at the 18th hole to shoot 70. Rory McIlroy had one of the three dreaded "others" -- a water-logged quadruple bogey on the 16th hole -- but he still managed to play his final 15 holes in 5 under and shoot 71.
Phil Mickelson was one of fourth players to withdraw, citing mental fatigue after playing four of the last five weeks.
6:25 p.m. -- Scott Stallings made a 3-footer for birdie on the 18th hole to grab sole possession of the lead at 6 under.
6:11 p.m. -- Erik Compton has moved into a tie for the lead at 5 under through 16 holes with a string of three straight birdies. Compton has had two heart transplants and the second came from a young man who lived in the Columbus area.
6:05 p.m. -- Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Memorial Tournament after shooting a 79 that included a 42 on the back nine. It's his worst score ever at Muirfield Village.
5:45 p.m. -- Consecutive birdies at Nos. 15 and 16 have lifted Scott Stallings into a tie for the lead with Spencer Levin. He got up and down from the greenside bunker at the par-5 15th, then added a 14-footer for a rare birdie at the 16th, a par 3 that is playing as the second most difficult of the day.
5:39 p.m. -- Daniel Summerhays found the creek that bisescts the 14th fairway and made bogey to drop back into a tie for second with Scott Stallings at 4 under.
5:21 p.m. -- The 16th hole was a costly one for the featured group. Both Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson found the water off the tee, making double bogey and bogey, respectively. Mickelson is now 5 over while Watson, playing for the secnd time since winning the Masters, is 2 over. The third member of the group, Rickie Fowler, is cruising at 1 under.
5:15 p.m. -- A bogey on the ninth hole, his 18th of the day, brought Spencer Levin home with a 67. He's the new leader in the clubhouse, tied with Daniel Summerhays, who has six holes remaining.
4:59 p.m. -- Spencer Levin has bolted out of the tie at 3 under with a 27-foot eagle putt at the seventh hole and a 32-footer for birdie at No. 8. He's now 6 under and one stroke ahead of Daniel Summerhays, who has birdied his last three holes.
4:45 p.m. -- On-site meteorologist Stewart Williams just sent out his afternoon forecast. There's an 80 percent chance of rain overnight and well into Friday morning with winds in the 15-20 mph range and gusting to 30 mph that afternoon.
4:23 p.m. -- Scott Stallings became the fourth player to reach 4 under when he two-putted for birdie from 27 feet at the 11th hole. But will he retain sole possession of the lead when the day is over?
4:06 p.m. -- Defending champion Steve Stricker has joined the leaders at 3 under after a 17-footer for birdie at the 11th hole. There are now 10 players tied for the lead, six of whom -- Stricker, David Hearn, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker, Scott Piercy and Scott Stallings -- are still on the course.
3:55 p.m. -- Sang-Moon Bae withdrew after shoot a 79. He did not give a reason.
3:41 p.m. -- Dustin Johnson, playing for the first time since straining his back moving a jet ski the weekend before the Masters, has shown no signs of rust. He's 1 under through 10 holes and has yet to make a bogey.
3:15 p.m. -- Rickie Fowler, who won picked up his first TOUR win earlier this month at Quail Hollow, and Bubba Watson are 1 under through eight holes while the third member of the featured group, Phil Mickelson, double bogeyed No. 2 and is 2 over. Watson is playing for just the second time since winning the Masters. Click here to follow them on ShotTracker.
2:49 p.m. -- Adam Scott is going for the second leg of the Ohio slam this week. The Aussie, who has played his first seven holes in 3 under, won the World Golf Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron last summer.
2:31 p.m. -- Nicolas Colsaerts is playing in the Memorial Tournament for the first time. He's hit his first seven greens in regulation and just reeled off three straight birdies to join the leaders at 3 under.
2:17 p.m. -- Spencer Levin, who squandered a six-stroke lead in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is off to a strong start Thursday afternoon. He started on the back nine and is 3 under through six holes after consecutive birdies at Nos. 14 and 15.
2 p.m. -- Blake Adams had gotten off to good starts in each of his last three tournaments, and Thursday was no exception with a 69 that left him tied for the clubhouse lead at the Memorial. He didn't break 70 in the 12 rounds that followed, though, so maybe that's why Adams was cautiously optimistic.
"Like three weeks ago at THE PLAYERS I had a great first round (66), everybody was going nuts, and I was like, look, it's just another round of golf," Adams said. "It's just Thursday. Yes, it's a big tournament, but it's just another round of golf. That's what we do every week. We play golf, and ... y'all make it more blown up than we do. It is what it is."
1:42 p.m. -- Mark Wilson, who won the Humana Challenge earlier this year, made some noise on Thursday with a solid 70 that left him tied with Bub Cauley and Tiger Woods, one stroke off the pace.
1:30 p.m. -- Aaron Baddeley has joined the group at the top with a 69 that included five birdies and a double bogey at the 14th hole. He's now tied with Blake Adams, Andres Romero and Rory Sabbatini for the clubhouse lead.
1:10 p.m. -- Tiger Woods has broken par at Muirfield Village for the 35th time in 47 rounds, shooting a 70 that left him one stroke off the clubhouse lead. Woods has won the Memorial four times, most recently in 2009.
1:06 p.m. -- Luke Donald won the BMW Championship on Sunday, then hopped on a plane and flew across the Atlantic to Dublin -- Ohio, that is -- to play in the Memorial. Showing no signs of jet lag, the world No. 1 posted a solid 71 that left him in the thick of things, two strokes off the early lead.
12:53 p.m. – Trevor Immelman has just posted an adventurous 71. He was 4 under for his first eight holes and owned sole possession of the lead before he made double bogey at No. 9. He then made his fifth birdie of the day at the 14th hole, but suffered another double bogey at No. 17.
12:48 p.m. -- Tiger Woods got up and down from the bunker short and right of the green at the par-5 seventh to move to 2 under. The four-time Memorial champ is now one sroke off the lead.
12:43 p.m. -- Andres Romero, who briefly held the lead alone after a 16-foot birdie putt at the eighth hole, his 17th of the day, made bogey at No. 9 to shoot 69. He's still tied for the top spot with Blake Adams, who didn't make a bogey Thursday. Rory Sabbatini, Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus are all on the course at 3 under.
12:35 p.m. -- Two players have withdrawn after completing their first rounds. Tom Gillis, who shot 81, has a back injury while Boo Weekley, who clocked in one stroke higher, did not give a reason for his early exit.
12:31 p.m. -- Bud Cauley is off to a solid start in his first Memorial Tournament. The rookie bogeyed his first hole but made five bogeys in his final 14 holes to shoot a 70 that left him one stroke off the lead held by Blake Adams.
12:20 p.m. – Tiger Woods has fought back from the double bogey at the 18th hole. He just made birdie at the par-5 fifth hole to move to 1 under for the tournament.
12:12 p.m. – Rory McIlroy’s quadruple bogey at the par-3 12th hole was his highest score ever on the PGA TOUR. He hit his tee shot into the back greenside bunker and blasted out, across the green, into the water. He took his drop and put his fourth shot into the other bunker, then two-putted from 11 feet for the 7.
12:05 p.m. – Robert Garrigus has broken out of a five-way tie for the lead with a 8-footer for birdie at the par-3 12th. Former Masters champ Trevor Immelman, Blake Adams, Bud Cauley and Andres Romero are one stroke off the pace.
11:45 a.m. – Rory McIlroy just made a big move up the leaderboard when he chipped in for eagle at the fifth hole to get back to even for the tournament. The young Northern Irishman, who has missed his last two cuts, started on the back nine and made the turn in 3 over – thanks in large part to a quadruple bogey on No. 12.
11:30 p.m. – Only 14 players in the morning wave are in red numbers right now. PGA TOUR rookie Bud Cauley leads at 4 under, one stroke better than Robert Garrigus and Blake Adams.
11:15 a.m. – Tiger Woods started on the back nine and made a brief appearance on the first page of leaderboard after birdies at Nos. 15 and 17. But he gave those back with a double bogey at No. 18, where he dumped his third shot into a greenside bunker and made the turn even par.
11 a.m. –- You couldn’t ask for a nicer day at Muirfield Village. The sun is abundant and the temperatures will top out in the mid-70s. Changes are coming, though. A low pressure system brings a strong probability of rain from Thursday night until early afternoon on Friday when the high is expected to be just 67.
Following his opening-round 79 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, Phil Mickelson meets with the media and talks about why he has withdrawn.
Following his opening-round 71, Rory McIlroy reflects on his play in the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance with Mark Carnevale from SiriusXM PGATOUR Radio.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rory McIlroy didn't exactly come to the Memorial Tournament brimming with confidence.
After all, the world No. 2, who relinquished the top spot just last week, had missed his last two cuts. And to make matters more distasteful, those early exits came in the PLAYERS Championship and BMW Championship, the signature events of the PGA TOUR and European Tour, respectively.
So that quadruple bogey at No. 12 Thursday -- McIlroy's highest score ever on the PGA TOUR -- might have undermined the work he's been putting in on the range. Instead, the young Northern Irishman’s focus became even clearer and he played his final 15 holes in 5 under to post a hard-fought 71 that left him two strokes off the lead.
"Yeah, it wasn't the start that I wanted to get off to, being 4 over through three holes, especially after the last few weeks," McIlroy said. "I was just like, here we go again. But I hung in there well, and proud of myself for the way I just fought back. To finish the round under par I thought was a really good effort."
McIlroy's troubles at the par-3 12th began when he hit his tee shot over the green and into the bunker behind a green that slopes dangerously toward the pond in front. The ball settled in the sand on the downslope -- "the one spot it couldn't," McIlroy would later say -- and he basically had no shot.
"I was trying to land it just out of the bunker in the rough and let it tumble onto the green," McIlroy said. "But I had such an awkward stance, it was just hard to execute the shot. I flew it maybe a few yards too far and it went in the water on the other side."
McIlroy went to the drop area on the other side of the pond and hit his fourth shot into the other bunker short of the green. He then blasted out and two-putted from 11 feet for the 7.
Instead of hanging his head, though, McIlroy proceeded to birdie Nos. 14 and 15 before giving one shot back at the 17th. After turning in 39, though, he played his next nine holes blemish-free with two birdies and an eagle at the par-5 fifth where he chipped in from 14 feet.
"The eagle on 5 ... got me back to even par, and that was a goal that I set myself after nine holes," McIlroy said. "I said, if I can get it back to even par here, that would be a good score, and to finish one better, then that is a bonus."
McIlroy, who hit 10 fairways and 12 greens while using 25 putts, said he tried to keep his mind on the process rather than results Thursday.
"I just tried to stay patient and not even think about the score, just think about what I'm working on in my swing and try and make good swings," he said. "That's really all I could do out there. I saw enough good ones that ... there was a little bit of encouragement, and to string a few good holes together on the back nine was nice."
McIlroy, who labeled his swing a "work in progress," isn't used to being quite so technical on the course. The ultimate goal, though, "is being 100 percent ready to go when I tee it up at Olympic," so the defending U.S. Open champion was more than willing to make the effort.
"Just trying to put the club in the right position," McIlroy said. "I know if I can do that, then I'll hit good shots. But I'm really just trying to focus on the process and my swing. I know if I can get that right, what I can control, then the shots should start to go my way or go the way I see them."
Not that he's particularly concerned right now but McIlroy needs to win the Memorial and have Luke Donald finish outside the top 13 in order to regain the world No. 1 spot. He and his playing partner for the first two rounds are deadlocked so it could be an interesting weekend -- especially after the way McIlroy fought back.
"I'm surprised that the scoring hasn't been a little lower," McIlroy said. "I know the greens are firm, there was a few tricky pin positions out there, but I still felt someone would have went a little lower this morning. It's nice to be under par and it's nice to be not too far away from the lead."
Following his opening-round 70, Tiger Woods reflects on his play in the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGATOUR Radio.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- The Memorial Tournament came around at a perfect time for Tiger Woods.
After winning Jack Nicklaus' event four times, the former No. 1 certainly has a comfort zone at Muirfield Village. The confidence born of that affinity, coupled with the work he's put in since tying for 40th at THE PLAYERS Championship three weeks ago, paid off on Thursday, too, with a 70 that left him one stroke off the lead.
“I think I was just consistent all day,’ Woods said. “I didn't do anything great and I didn't do anything poorly, I was just very consistent. And I think with the golf course being the way it's set up, you just have to be that way. You have to drive the ball well, you have to position it on these greens, and you're going to have to make some tough putts. There's no two ways around it.”
The round of 2 under was Woods' 35th sub-par tally in 47 trips around Nicklaus' signature creation. The resilient Woods, who battled back from a double bogey at the 18th hole, his ninth of the day, hit nine fairways, 12 greens and used 28 putts.
"I think the golf course was playing quick today," Woods said.
"The fairways were starting to chase a little bit. The greens were
... somewhat receptive. They're making ball marks, but the
thing is they're running out. These greens have got to be near 14
(on the Stimpmeter).
"It's a hell of a test out there, really. And then the wind is picking up a little bit. Hopefully we don't get too much rain, and this golf course plays quick the entire week."
Another positive? Woods also birdied three of the four par 5s, which tied the second round of THE PLAYERS for his best performance on those holes in his last 11 rounds. He played the par 5s in 1 under at the Masters, where he tied for 40th, and made just two birdies in the eight he played at Quail Hollow before missing only the eighth cut of his career.
On Thursday, though, Woods prospered on the par 5s. After missing an 11-footer for birdie at the 11th hole, Woods two-putted the 15th from 21 feet, tapped in from 13 inches at No. 5 and made an 8-footer at the seventh. His other birdie came at the 17th hole where he made a 14-footer.
"Well, I haven't played the par 5s particularly well the last few tournaments, and today was a good example," Woods said. "I played them great. The one on 11 should have been a birdie, as well. I hit two really nice shots in there. I feel very pleased with the way I hit the golf ball all day, and it was nice to actually play the par 5s under par for a change."
Woods' lone blemish came at the 18th hole where found the cluster of fairway bunkers to the right off the tee, hit his second to the left of the green and dumped his third into the greenside bunker. He blasted out to 11 feet and two-putt for the 6.
"I stuck it in the ground with the 5-wood and hit it out to the right and tried to make sure I missed it left coming out of that bunker and overcooked that one," Woods said. "Then I got thrown off a little bit out of my rhythm. I was ready to go and waiting for whoever it was to tee off, I think it might have been Jason, and backed off twice, and I was kind of ready, ready, ready. And then unfortunately when it was my turn to go, I wasn't anywhere near as focused as I needed to be for that shot, and I paid the price for it."
Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard earlier this year but has two ties for 40th and a missed cut in his three starts since the victory. Asked whether he thought he was returning to form, Woods said "absolutely."
He’ll take next week off, then play four of the next seven
events, two of which are major championships. Another World Golf
Championships is on the horizon, too, along with the PGA TOUR
Playoffs for the FedExCup.
"That's one of the reasons why I didn't do a whole lot at the beginning of the year is we have a lot of golf to be played during the summer and in the fall, especially with the Ryder Cup at the end of it," Woods said. "We don't get any breaks, so we have a lot of golf to be played. And there's a lot of big events."