First Round of the Memorial Tournament
Mathew Goggin made only nine putts on the back nine to take the lead at seven under par.
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Els had back-to-back birdies on Nos. 8 and 9.
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Ernie Els shot a first-round 73.
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"You can't miss a fairway. The rough is really thick. So you pretty much have no chance of getting it to the green," said Sergio Garcia, who is at even par. "And then the greens are probably the fastest greens we have played in a long time."
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"It was probably one of the most enjoyable rounds of golf I've had this year, just weather-wise and the course was in great condition," said Justin Rose, who is three strokes off the lead at four under par. "It was nice to go out there and feel like you could make a score."
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"My speed was tremendous today," Perry said. "I had a great touch around the greens with the putter. And that was nice. That was one of the reasons why I got on that six in a row there on the back nine."
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Perry missed a birdie putt on the 17th hole.
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"There's three rounds left and I think that tomorrow will be a good day," Mickelson said.
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"I knew today was going to be the tough day for me because I didn't have a great three days heading in," Mickelson said. "I was kind of tired and didn't get a chance to rest and get ready."
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"I was just going into this round just trying to fit and hang in there. And I hit a lot of sloppy shots, but I also hit some good ones and shot par," Mickelson said.
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Phil Mickelson is at even par after an opening-round 72.
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Kenny Perry is one stroke off the lead after a first-round 66.
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Charley Hoffman double-bogeyed the final hole to finish at two over par.
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