Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Thursday was for the flushers at the 2024 Memorial Tournament — here’s everything you need to know from the first round

By admin Jun9,2024

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It’s starting to feel a little like the 1993 classic Groundhog Day as Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele are once again near the top of the leaderboard after Day One of the 2024 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Scheffler, who’s finished third in his last two appearances at Jack’s Place (2021, 2023), nearly holed-out for eagle on the par-4 18th — the hardest hole on the golf course last season — to jump Schauffele (4 under) by one shot and sign for a 5-under 67. Just another ho-hum round for the world’s best player. We’ll talk about both here in a minute.

Collin Morikawa, yet another big name who had a day around Muirfield, is tied for third at 4 under.

However, it’s Adam Hadwin alone at the top after an opening-round 6-under 66 that included eight birdies and two bogeys.

If you missed any of Thursday’s action, no worries, we have you covered. Here’s everything you need to know from the opening round of the 2024 Memorial Tournament.

Adam Hadwin plays his shot from the 18th tee during the first round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Hadwin had a disappointing showing in his home country of Canada last week, missing the cut at the RBC Canadian Open. Well, he must have found something between Saturday and Thursday morning as Hadwin signed for a 6-under 65 and will take the solo lead into the second round.

The 59th-ranked player in the world made four birdies and a bogey on his front nine before doing the exact same on the back and ranked first in Strokes Gained: Approach (+5.519).

“It’s only Thursday, a lot of golf left. Like I said, I played a really solid round of golf today,” he said. “I was in play off the tee, I hit a bunch of greens, I had some good looks, and then kind of it got going on the back nine. I hit a few wedges close. I took advantage of maybe a little bit softer Muirfield Village with the rain overnight and we’ve got three more rounds to go, and I’ve been torn apart by this place before, so I know how quickly it can sneak up on you. So just keep doing what I did really well today.”

In nine previous starts at the Memorial, Hadwin made the weekend six times and finished inside the top 20 twice (2016, 2022).

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Scottie Scheffler plays his shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the 2024 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. (Photo: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch)

Guess what? Scottie Scheffler is playing good golf. Who could’ve seen that coming?

Since winning the RBC Heritage — his fourth Tour win of 2024 — Scheffler has finished T-8 at the PGA Championship and T-2 at the Charles Schwab Challenge. In his last two appearances at the Memorial, the best player in the world has finished 3rd (2021, 2023).

So, yeah, guess it was pretty easy to see this coming.

Scheffler dropped one shot Thursday (par-5 sixth) thanks to a mud ball, but kept the rest of his card clean and totaled five birdies to complete his 4-under effort.

“Going out this morning, a little softer greens, a little softer fairways, and was able to put up a good score,” Scheffler said after signing his card. “It felt like I hit a lot of quality shots today, it felt like my ball striking was really good, and I was able to hole a few putts as well, so overall, pretty pleased with the round today.”

The ball striking was, indeed, good. He ranked first in SG: Off the Tee and second in SG: Approach.

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Xander Schauffele plays his shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the 2024 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. (Photo: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch)

The last time we saw Xander Schauffele he was hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy at Valhalla Golf Club after pouring in a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to clinch the 2024 PGA Championship title.

Some thought we’d see a rusty version of Schauffele after a three-week layoff following his first major championship win, but that wasn’t the case Thursday at Muirfield Village.

The world No. 2 rolled the rock all day long — ranked first in SG: Putting (3.941) — keeping his scorecard clean with several nifty up-and-downs and signing for a bogey-free 4-under 68.

“Yeah, it felt that way,” Schauffele said when he was told he led the field in putting, “even with that miss there on 18. Yeah, I’m going to go to the range after this, after we finish talking, and hit the center of the club face a little more, find some more fairways and some more greens. I’m happy. I’m happy with how I played, with how I stuck in there and really happy my short game bailed me out on a day that could have been a lot worse.”

Schauffele has made it a habit to be atop the leaderboard after Day One. He led after 18 holes at the Wells Fargo Championship (finished second) and PGA Championship (won), and will be just two back when the second round begins Friday.

Ludvig Aberg acknowledges the crowd after a putt on the first green during the first round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

The kid is good — and he’s healthy again.

Ludvig Aberg, who withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship last month due to knee soreness, played alongside Scheffler on Thursday and hung with him all day long. Although the world No. 1 bested him by a shot, you’re not going to hear the Swede complain about a 4-under 68 around Jack’s Place.

“Yeah, my knee feels good. It’s been nice to have a couple of weeks,” Aberg said. “We were just saying before that, I haven’t really played that much lately, so it’s just nice today to be back playing. My first start since the PGA, and then I had three weeks before that off, so it’s good to be back and you kind of miss it when you’re not playing.”

Muirfield Village has long been known as a second-shot golf course, so it’s no surprise to see Aberg — a certified flusher — near the top of the board. Entering this week, Aberg was ranked 17th in SG: Approach (Scheffler ranked first, Schauffele fourth).

Viktor Hovland plays his shot from the first tee during the first round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

After capturing the FedEx Cup title last year, Viktor Hovland went searching. He wanted to get better, but it backfired.

Before a solo third at the PGA Championship, Hovland failed to finish inside the top 15 in his first seven events of the season. But thanks to a reunion with his coach Joe Mayo, Hovland is back to playing his brand of golf and fired a 3-under 69 Thursday and is squarely in the mix after the first 18 holes.

The Norwegian bounced back from a bogey on the fourth with an eagle at the par-5 fifth and added three more birdies to his card — and one bogey — before heading into the clubhouse.

“I feel like the game has been pretty nice in practice,” he said. “It’s still not quite exactly how I want it to be yet, but it’s still — no, it’s good enough to compete, and I feel like I’m playing some good golf, so just got to keep at it and hopefully it just keeps getting better and better.”

The defending champion enters the second round three back of the lead.

Collin Morikawa plays his shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Top 10
1st: Adam Hadwin (6 under)
2nd: Scottie Scheffler (5 under)
T-3: Xander Schauffele (4 under)
T-3: Ludvig Aberg (4 under)
T-3: Corey Conners (4 under)
T-3: Collin Morikawa (4 under)
T-7: Viktor Hovland (3 under)
T-7: Billy Horschel (3 under)
T-7: Akshay Bhatia (3 under)
T-7: Tommy Fleetwood (3 under)
T-7: Seamus Power (3 under)

Big names
Rory McIlroy (2 under)
Sam Burns (1 under)
Tony Finau (1 under)
Max Homa (1 under)
Justin Thomas (1 under)
Matt Fitzpatrick (1 over)
Patrick Cantlay (3 over)
Will Zalatoris (2 over)
Jordan Spieth (2 over)
Cameron Young (4 over)
Rickie Fowler (4 over)
Wyndham Clark (5 over)

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