Collin Morikawa has the early lead on the Memorial on a day solely half the sphere completed
DUBLIN, Ohio — Collin Morikawa had one other favorable outcome at Muirfield Village on a golf course that appeared and sounded rather a lot completely different from when he gained final 12 months.
Morikawa felt good vibes from an outdated putter and posted a 6-under 66 in rain-softened circumstances Thursday morning on the Memorial. That gave him a one-shot lead over Adam Lengthy amongst early starters, with Xander Schauffele within the group two pictures behind.
The climate was unhealthy sufficient that the primary spherical was suspended twice, with solely half the sphere ending the spherical.
For Morikawa, the identify of the event is completely different, too. He gained a playoff at Muirfield Village final 12 months within the Workday Charity Open, a one-time occasion to exchange the pandemic-canceled John Deere Traditional.
However there is a consolation degree on the course Jack Nicklaus constructed, regardless of how a lot it has been renovated and reshaped. And it was noisy Thursday because the event has let not less than 25% capability of followers on the course.
Jon Rahm is the defending champion on the Memorial and confronted a far stronger take a look at. Nicklaus knew he was going to be redoing the fairways and greens, so he allow them to go for the Memorial and circumstances have been as powerful as a U.S. Open.
Rahm did OK within the gentle circumstances with a 69, tied with British Open champion Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, who wants a runner-up end to maneuver into the highest 60 on the planet rating and keep away from U.S. Open qualifying on Monday.
Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy did not make it previous a few holes earlier than the climate stopped all the pieces. They have been to return Friday morning to complete the primary spherical, after which proper again out for the second spherical.
The forecast was higher for the remainder of the week, and darkness would not set in till about 9 p.m.
What made Schauffele’s spherical fascinating is that he used the controversial arm-lock technique to putt. It is a putter he is solely had for a few week. He is among the many greatest statistically placing. And he issues the placing model needs to be banned.
It is the tactic utilized by DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar and Will Zalatoris, amongst others. Most gamers consider it’s no completely different from anchoring the lengthy putter in opposition to the sternum, a method the R&A and USGA outlawed.
But when the principles makers are permitting it, Schauffele figures he would possibly as nicely do the identical.
Kuchar, in the meantime, withdrew when he was 9 over after 14 holes for what the PGA Tour described as a left forearm damage.