Donald has early lead at Memorial
Published 12:41 am Friday, June 5, 2009
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.
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‘‘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.