Collin Morikawa opened with a 66 at a wet and rainy Muirfield Village and will take a one-shot lead into Friday’s second round of the Memorial Tournament.
The 24-year old Cal-Berkley alum, who was paired with Jon Rahm (69) and Xander Schauffele (68), finished his first day in Dublin, Ohio with a field-best seven birdies, highlighted by a run of four gains in his first five holes, to secure the 18-hole marquee position.
“No, it was definitely the rain,” said Morikawa when asked if the rain made the course more scoreable.
“The greens were soft enough and they’re receptive. Wedges are spinning back and I actually didn’t see any of that the past couple of days warming up or practicing.
“But you have to hit the fairway. Out here, wet rough, it’s not going to help when the rough is pretty long.
“So you got to hit fairways and that’s where it’s going to start and I was able to do that today.
Chris Kirk, Adam Long, and Scottie Scheffler were T2 on 5-under par, one clear of a six-player logjam, headlined by Morikawa’s playing partner Schauffele.
“It was good. Obviously,” said Schauffele, who finished with five birdies against one bogey.
“Near the lead and pretty much besides one chip I’m pretty happy with how I played.”
Another dozen players were T12 on 3 under, including defending champion Rahm, 2019 champion Patrick Cantlay, world No. 2 Justin Thomas, and fan favorite Rickie Fowler.
The 2021 Memorial Tournament
Leaderboard: Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Score)
1. Collin Morikawa -6 (66)
2. Adam Long -5 (67)
2. Scottie Scheffler -5 (67)
2. Chris Kirk -5 (67)
6. Xander Schauffele -4 (68)
6. Branden Grace -4 (68)
6. Joel Dahmen -4 (68)
6. Bo Hoag -4 (68)
6. Nick Taylor -4 (68)
6. Rafa Cabrera Bello -4 (68)