Memorial Tournament @ Muirfield Village, presented by Nationwide Insurance June 01 2012
Scott Stallings leads by one shot after the first round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village, presented by Nationwide Insurance. Scott had a -6 under par round of 66 to lead by one stroke from Spencer Levin and Erik Compton, who both had -5 under par rounds of 67. Scott was pretty happy with his day; " It was a great start. You know, I definitely haven't played very good up to this point. It's been a very; lackluster would be an understatement, start to the season. 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. It's a golf course that I like. 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.That's about it."
Scott Stallings Halleran/Getty Images
Erik Compton was also happy with his first round;" I worked really, really hard last week on the driving range, which I'm usually pretty picky about how hard I practice, and last week was really hot, and I was out there pounding balls. You know, I was just frustrated with how the year has been going. I tried to get my swing a little flatter and a little shallower, and I think it definitely saw some results the way I was driving the ball, hitting a lot of greens, a lot of crisp iron shots. And around here, these greens are really, really lightning fast, so you kind of have to be on the defensive. It's hard to get the ball close, and when you do it seems like you have a downhill putt. I was just real happy to play well and get a good round under my belt, not only because it's a PGA event but just to have a great round is encouraging. And then get up early in the morning, hopefully my body feels good, and get back at it." Spencer Levin was delighted to meet with the press guys once again; " I haven't talked to you guys in a while. I must not have been playing that good. But nice to be back in here again. Yeah, it was a good day. I just had some good things happen early in the round, some nice par saves, and I doubled 16, hit it in the water. But after that I kept my head together. I got up-and-down on 17, which kind of kept me going. And then from about 3 on, I started, I think I was one-putting pretty much every hole after that, so I was kind of hanging in there to be 1-under. Then I birdied 3 to go 2-under, and I made everything from there on in, which made it a 5-under round."
Tiger Woods had a steady start at -2 under the card, the same score as Ernie Els and Adam Scott. World number one Luke Donald had another of his usual slow starts, finishing at -1 under par for his round, he was joined on that score by Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and the returning from injury boy Dustin Johnson. Tiger thinks the greens are running around 14 on the stimp meter." I think the golf course was playing quick today. The fairways were starting to chase a little bit. The greens were, as I was explaining out there, somewhat receptive. They're making ball marks, but the thing is they're running out. These greens have got to be near 14. 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. " Luke said of his slow start to the tournament; " Well, hopefully that's my loose round out of the way. I didn't hit the ball well. I was scrambling a lot. But fortunately I putted pretty well, and I'm pretty happy with the score in the end. It wasn't that solid of a round tee to green. I'm going to need to tidy that up. But at the same point, this course is tricky. There's some tougher pins out there today, I thought, and overall I'll take 1-under and try and play better the next three days."
Saddest tale of the day was Phil Mickleson shooting a +7 over par round of 79, and then withdrawing from the tournament due to mental fatigue, Phil said about his withdrawal;
"The course here is in such great shape. It’s a beautiful way to get ready for the U.S. Open. But I’m hitting it so poorly that; I have to look at what’s best for me to play in the U.S. Open, and I’m going to take the next few days to kind of rest up."
Bubba Watson had a tough return to golf after his self imposed lay-off, shooting a +3 over par round of 75. He will need to improve dramatically to make the cut tomorrow.