Live Blog: Round 1 at the Memorial Tournament

June 3, 2010

6:08 p.m. Another par for Fowler on 12. Here are Fowler's stats so far via the PGA Tour: Fowler has hit a steady rhythm now. GIR% today is 75% Driving Accuracy is 88% Putts per GIR is 1.444. He is T2 at 5-under. 6:07 p.m. Woods bombs one into the trees right on the par-5 11th. No chance to reach in two. 6:02 p.m. Another birdie for Woods on 10, now even par. He made a nice fairway bunker approach and a pure stroke. We're going to have extended coverage on the Live Blog since Woods heating up and things are getting a little chippy between Gary McCord and Nick Faldo. Not really, but Faldo's know-it-all act sounds like it's getting to McCord just a little bit. 5:59 p.m. Rickie Fowler makes par on 11, still 5-under. 5:55 p.m.'s Stephanie Wei got an invitation to St. Andrews after her guest spot on the Live Blog today.

I linked to your blog from and saw that you are trying to raise funds to attend the US Open. If
you’d like to use that money for a much more interesting trip you could
join me and some friends who are  going to St. Andrews for the British
Open. I spent some time at the university there and have friends who
still live in town and have offered up a place to stay. If you can get
over there (my total travel costs, plane from Philly to Glasgow and
train to St. Andrews, totaled around $1200) you’re welcome to join us.

She wisely declined. Needless to say, I've been doing this Live Blog for years and haven't been invited anywhere. 5:51 p.m. Two solid U.S. Open dark horse picks, Adam Scott (1-under) and Tim Clark (2-under), are playing together along with Robert Allenby (even). 5:47 p.m. Woods (1-over) on 10 misses left into the fairway bunker. Meanwhile Reader MikeZ asks: His first birdie-less front nine at ANY tournament since 2005!? That can't really be true, can it?

Yeah, that would be ridiculous. It must have been just the Memorial, but I'll get the Live Blog research staff working on it. UPDATE: Research staff says the stat is just for the Memorial. Sorry about that.

5:43 p.m. Rickie Fowler still at 5-under after pars on 10 and 11. 5:42 p.m. Tiger made his birdie at 9. Of course he did. 1-over. 5:39 p.m. Mark Calcavecchia playing in his last PGA Tour event — he turns 50 on June 12 — is 3-over through 6. the 13-time Tour winner and '89 British Open champ had a great line this week about joining the Champions Tour: A great change of pace, for one. New courses, new towns, you know, new
holes to screw up. I'm tired of screwing up the same holes every year.
5:35 p.m. Nice approach by Woods and he'll have a decent look at birdie. If misses, it will be his first birdie-less front nine since…2005 (gulp!) 5:33 p.m. Tiger Woods found the fairway on the par-4 ninth. Unfortunately for him, this counts as news today. 5:30 p.m. A heavyset fan who looks like he could finish a 12-pack on his own just walked onto the ninth green. No, don't Tase him, that's actually Kevin Stadler (3-under today) 5:27 p.m. Reader EddyL writes: TIGER SUCKS. Hey! Let's keep it clean. Jim Nantz might be reading. 5:25 p.m. Nice chip by Woods on No. 8 and he'll save par from there. Still 2-over. Rickie Fowler updates coming as soon as I can get them. 5:23 p.m. Reader MikeZ explains "the Ohio State University" for me: I'm not an OSU guy,
but I am a Big Ten guy (Illinois — go Steve!). I believe the "the" is
because of the rivalry with Ohio University. Both schools are
state-supported and vie for being considered the "official" university
that represents the state.
Thanks, MikeZ. Always wondered about that. 5:20 p.m. Woods' tee shot on the par-3 eighth trickles into the greenside bunker. 5:16 p.m. Tiger Woods makes a par on No. 7, still 2-over, but the fans at Memorial are going to be watching Rickie Fowler, who is five-under through 9 after going birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie. Not a typo. 5:11 p.m. After his 1-under round today, Live Blog favorite Vijay Singh thanked Golfweek writer Jeff Rude for Singh's special exemption into the U.S. Open next week. Q. When you got the news about the U.S. Open yesterday, were you surprised? VIJAY SINGH: At first they said no. Then I said, okay, that's fine. Then I think they read Jeff Rude — where is he? Q. He's not here this week. VIJAY SINGH: I want to thank
him for his comments on that. Then I think they went back and they all
said go, you know. It was a relief. I was hoping for an invite. If I
really wanted to play the U.S. Open, I wanted to play well in Texas and
move up my rankings.
Cool move, Vijay. Look forward to seeing you at Pebble Beach.

5:09 p.m. It feels like they've been promoting that Adam Sandler-Kevin James movie for the last 18 months. 5:08 p.m. Woods (2-over) has a short-iron into the par-5 fifth and gives himself a makeable look at birdie. 5:04 p.m. Reader Milind Sanghavi loved the skins game yesterday, but not the TV commentary. I enjoyed the skins
game yesterday but certainly felt that the commentators spoke too much.
I am sorry with these great guys all miked-up there should have been
minimal commentary.  
 Just as an example on the 2nd/3rd hole Phil hit iron off
thew tee and wood off the fairway and Nicklaus walked up to him and
said wow "I would have thought it would be reverse. why did you do
that?" and just as Phil started answering the box guys started talking.
Come ON GUYS !! :
I hear you, but I'm generally a fan of the Golf Channel's live coverage. Everybody's getting used to miked-up players, but when Jack's talking to Phil, that's when you want to be quiet. Knowing when not to speak is probably the most unappreciated skill of a broadcaster.

5:02 p.m. Solid day for Jim Furyk and Sean O'Hair, both in clubhouse with 4-under 68s.

5:00 p.m. Woods misses his tee shot right on No. 7. Faldo notes that when Woods needs to draw it, he misses left, and when he tries to hit a cut, he misses right. 4:57 p.m. Woods makes his bogey putt. 2-over. Lots more Nick Faldo swing analysis to come, for sure. 4:55 p.m. Tiger waits for a ruling in the rough and takes a drop — a fan had touched his ball. The lie after the drop was even worse. His first chip stays in the rough just off the green. His fourth shot rolls well past the hole and he'll have a 10-foot putt for bogey. 4:50 p.m. Noted baseball fan Phil Mickelson — he once had a "try out" with the Toledo Mud Hens — was asked about Armando Galarraga almost-perfect game after his round today. I don't know what to say. We all make mistakes. It happens. I know that that feels terrible. We all make mistakes. 4:46 p.m. Woods's recovery shot on 6 looks headed for the green until it hits a sprinkler head and bounds into the gallery right of the green. 2010 is definitely not Tiger's year so far. 4:45 p.m. Woods ends his 22-consecutive fairway streak at the Memorial with a nasty pull on the par-4 sixth. 4:42 p.m. Tim Clark (2-under) makes a wild, winding eagle putt on the par-5 15th. "Be right, be right, be fight. Go in! Go!" The ball listened. If Clark has another good week here, he's going to be everyone's dark-horse pick for the U.S. Open. 4:40 p.m. Jack Nicklaus says he's an Eastern Conference guy and he'll be pulling for the Celtics tonight. Another thing Jack and I have in common. 4:39 p.m. Stephanie Wei of WeiUnderPar says I missed Faldo's best line of the broadcast. Talking about Mickelson's 5-under round, Faldo said, "The biggest mistake he made all day was wearing black boxers under his white trousers." 4:35 p.m. Another par for Woods, but that's like a bogey on the par-5 fifth. He's still 1-over. Stricker (1-under) makes a disappointing par as well. 4:31 p.m. High-level Tiger swing analysis between Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus. Jack says, "I believe the golf game is played with the clubhead and [Tiger] has got to think in terms of what the clubhead is doing in the swing." Jack adds, "He's the best I've ever seen at posting a score when he's playing poorly. 4:30 p.m. Woods pitches back to the green, but it's not going to make any highlight reels. 4:27 p.m. Minutes before Tiger missed his approach on 5, reader Shoshana wrote: Seems like Tiger's missing more with his irons then with his woods. Just an observation.

I've always said that the Live Blog has the smartest and most-insightful readers on the web. The writers? Not as much.

4:25 p.m. Tiger misses long and left and voices one of his new PG-rated curses which only offend Jim Nance. 4:23 p.m. Tiger hits 3-wood on the par-5 fifth. Center of the fairway. Golf Channel says Woods has hit 22 consecutive fairways at the Memorial, which, not coincidentally, he's won four times. Horses for courses. 4:20 p.m. Reader Kevin Barton isn't joining my campaign to abolish the pro-am. Loved
watching the skins game last night, but I think the format only works
at marquee events where the top players show up. I don't have much
interest watching Jason Bohn win a skin over Matt Kuchar, for instance.
But if you have the star power in the format it sure does shine.
Good point, Kevin. I'd add that the Bohn-Kuchar match-up is a tough sell on Sunday too. 4:17 p.m. Rich Lerner drops a cool fact that Jack Nicklaus was recruited to play hoops with Celtics great John Havlicek at Ohio State. BTW, if there are any Ohio State grads out there, can you tell me why it's "the" Ohio State University? Always wondered about that. 4:16 p.m. Woods gets his up-and-down. Still 1-over. 4:15 p.m. Stricker gives one back at No. 4, now 1-under. 4:12 p.m. Kenny Perry (even) just misses a birdie at 11. Worth paying attention to Perry this week. No force in golf is more powerful than "horses for courses," and Perry has a history success here. 4:11 p.m. Reader Christian Thompson writes: I hope they don't
get rid of pro-ams before I have a chance to play in one :-). To be
fair, I think playing golf *with* Phil Mickelson would be a bit more
fun than playing basketball *against* Kobe Bryant…

True enough, Christian. Maybe you should guard Derek Fisher instead.

4:07 p.m. Steve Stricker cools off in a hurry, missing the par-3 fourth green way left. Woods misses left as well. The Golf Channel's Gary McCord says let the swing analysis begin.
"We'll be able to dissect this golf swing for the next four hours now. We're going to have a ball talking about this," McCord says. 4:06 p.m. Friend of the Blog Stephanie Wei of WeiUnderPar says Tiger's curling commercial is much better than the Ryder Cup one. She's right. 4:04 p.m. That putt was closer than I thought. Woods saves par. Still 1-over. 4:03 p.m. Woods not even close on his birdie putt, leaves himself about 5 feet for par. 4:01 p.m. Sabbatini finishes with par on 18, 5-under on day, good enough for T2 with Mickelson, Andres Romero, Michael Letzig and Spencer Levin. 4 p.m. Camilo Villegas makes a terrible swing on 2. "That not pretty," Faldo says. Don't worry, Camilo. He was talking about the shot, not you. 3:59 p.m. Woods (1-over) misses his wedge right, will have midrange putt for birdie on 3. 3:58 p.m. And we're back…. 3:56 p.m. The guys are back on the course and we're just a few minutes away from play resuming at the Memorial. 3:51 p.m. Check out Tiger Woods' latest EA Sports commercial at The Wall Street Journal website. Sure looks like he's planning on playing the Ryder Cup this year. You know, if he qualifies or convinces Corey Pavin that he's one of the 12 best American players.
Here's Jack Nicklaus on Pavin's statement that Woods is not an "automatic" pick for the team if he doesn't qualify. I had the worst year I’d ever had playing golf in ’79, but I think I
would have been selected. And the same thing with Tiger. I don’t think
there’s any reason why Tiger should be left off the team, even if he
didn’t play well — just for his leadership ability.
3:46 p.m. Longtime friend of the blog and UK golf writer Paul Mahoney checks in from Wales via twitter: Justin
Rose is the early leader at the Memorial after a 65. Good omen for
England in the World Cup? Nah, they'll lose on penalties again.
3:42 p.m. The Golf Channel catches up with Steve Stricker in a "safe house" (is Tony Soprano there too?), and Stricker says he's hearing that they're going to start play again in 10 minutes. 3:40 p.m. Did you all enjoy yesterday's Memorial skins game as much as I did? Can we get rid of the pro-am already? I know tournaments rake in the dough with pro-ams, but there's got to be a way to create fan-friendly and profitable exhibitions like Wednesday's skins. The pro-am makes no sense. Imagine if Kobe Bryant or Paul Pierce spent yesterday playing three-on-three with some wealthy season-ticket holders.  3:30 p.m. Exciting day at the offices when Gary Player stopped in this morning. Really charming and gracious man. People were lining up to take pictures with him.One of the ad sales guys said, "I never ask people for autographs, but it's GARY PLAYER!" 3:22 p.m. Oh, no! The horn blows as dark clouds roll into Columbus. Players will stay in position during the break, And so will the Live Blog. 3:16 p.m. Zurich Classic winner Jason Bohn (even) is playing with Woods today. Coincidentally, Bohn was also paired with Woods when Woods withdrew from The Players Championship last month with a neck injury. Both guys are safely in the fairway on three, and the Golf Channel's Nick Faldo says this should be a birdie hole for Woods. 3:15 p.m. Sabbatini makes bogey on 17, back to 5-under. 3:12 p.m. Steve Stricker starts birdie-birdie. If this pleased him, he gave no indication of it. 3:10 p.m. Tiger lags his birdie attempt on 2, tap-in par, still 1-over 3:09 p.m. Par for Sabbatini on 16, still 6-under. I know he's got a terrible reputation, but I think he's one of the most accessible and funny Tour players. 3:07 p.m. The Golf Channel's Rich Lerner didn't get that memo that the "It'll be more difficult for Tiger to catch Jack Nicklaus' 18 majors now" story is played out. Woods is on in regulation on No. 2, has midrange putt. 3:04 p.m. Nice-looking leaderboard. Justin Rose is leading at 7-under after
posting a 65. Rory Sabbatini, the most misunderstood man in the game is
6-under through 15. Mickelson finished with a 5-under 67 along with
Andres Romero and American Michael Letzig. Woods was supposed to tee
off at 12:44 but because of a rain delay he is 1-over through 1. 3 p.m.  Welcome to the Memorial Tournament Live Blog, where we're
still wondering if Tiger Woods is an Orlando Magic or Los Angeles Lakers
fan. We'll be here with you until 6 p.m. Join the conversation by
leaving a comment below.