Tony Finau (13/2 Fav – Memorial Outright) picked out his impressive putting as the main reason for his quick start at the Memorial Tournament, with the American opening up an early one-shot lead on day one at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
World number 19 Finau had been struggling to find his rhythm since the season restarted but that all changed on Thursday as he mixed nine birdies with three bogeys to card a six-under-par round of 66.
The 30-year-old, whose 2016 Puerto Rico Open triumph remains his only PGA Tour success, managed to get the flat stick going as he made seven of his gains in the final 10 holes to open up a slender one-shot advantage.
Blustery conditions made scoring difficult in Ohio and only 24 players managed to shoot under par, highlighting just how tough the course was playing and the issues several competitors were having.
Justin Thomas (40/1), who lost in a playoff to Collin Morikawa at Muirfield last week in the Charity Open, struggled to a two-over-par 74 and he said the course is playing much tougher this week.
Speaking after his opening round, overnight leader Finau was happy with how things have started, saying “I made a lot of putts. I honestly didn’t feel I hit it great off the tee. I didn’t hit a lot of fairways.
“But I felt great out there. It was playing really tough but … I was able to execute pretty well.”