Schwartzel Opens with 65 to Lead at Muirfield


South Africa's Charl Schwartzel fired a 7-under 65 to take the opening-round lead in the Memorial Tournament. The $6.2 million PGA Tour event started Thursday at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, started play on the 10th hole. He carded four straight birdies on both his front and back nines along with two more birdies for a total of 10, a bogey and double-bogey on the par-3 eighth hole (his 17th). He atoned for the double with a birdie on the ninth.

"The birdie on the last will definitely make my evening better," he said. Schwartzel has a one-stroke lead over Scott Piercy. Two back after 67s are Americans Josh Teater, Russell Henley and Kyle Stanley and South Korean Charlie Wi.

"There was a lot of good stuff working today," Piercy told reporters. "It hasn't been my fondest place. I like coming here, but I haven't played well."

Bill Haas and Matt Kuchar both shot 68s to share seventh after 18 holes, while posting 69s were Australia's Matt Jones, Sweden's Robert Karlsson and Americans Chris Stroud and Michael Thompson.

Fourteen players opened with 70s, including major champions Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard, Fred Couples and Trevor Immelman.

Defending champion Tiger Woods, who's shooting for his fifth career victory at the Memorial, opened with a 71. Woods, currently ranked No. 1 in the world off four wins this season, carded five birdies and four bogeys. Also posting a 71 was Woods' playing partner, Keegan Bradley.

Hoping to kick-start his 2013 campaign, in which he hasn't won on either the PGA or European tours, Rory McIlroy got off to a desultory start with a 6-over 78 that listed six bogeys, a double and only two birdies.

"I'm pretty frustrated," the No. 2-ranked player in the world said after the round. "I'm trying not to let it get to me. I don't have any explanations for (the 78) . . . It's just not all there. It was a bit of a struggle out there."

Other scores included 73s by reigning Masters champion Adam Scott and Luke Donald, and an 80 by Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/the-memorial-tournament-presented-by-nationwide-insurance/leaderboard.html.


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