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Donald has early lead at Memorial

DUBLIN (AP) — Tiger Woods hardly missed a fairway, a big improvement. Luke Donald hardly missed a putt, and that was far more rewarding Thursday at the Memorial.

Donald set a tournament record by taking only 20 putts, which allowed him to tie a tournament record by opening with an 8-under 64 and a three-shot lead over a group that included Jim Furyk and Jason Day, who bogeyed his last two holes.

What seemed like a normal round at Muirfield Village turned extraordinary for Donald when he rapped in a 12-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-3 eighth hole, starting a streak of six consecutive birdies. He one-putted nine straight holes until a routine par on the 18th hole to match the lowest opening round at the Memorial.

‘‘That doesn’t happen very often,’’ Donald said.

Even rarer is the sight of Woods spending so much time in the middle of the fairway.

Woods went with a slightly higher loft in his driver (10 degrees) and continued to make strides with his swing. He didn’t miss a fairway until his 3-wood on the 18th hole deflected off a tree and landed in a bunker.

Scoring starts with the putter, however. Woods missed an 8-foot par putt on the final hole, and his other bogey came on a three-putt at the 13th. He had to settle for a 69, and few complaints.