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COVERAGE: Confident Hadwin Leads Star-Laden Memorial Tournament



Photo credit: Pittsburgh Golf Now/Julia Wingard

DUBLIN, Ohio — A week after missing the cut in a home event, Canada’s Adam Hadwin holds the lead after one round of play at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.

Hadwin recorded eight birdies on the day, beginning with a 29-footer to earn his first circle. Though his round ended with a bogey, it did not deter him from hitting 14 greens and leading the field in Strokes Gained: Approach The Green.

Even though he missed the cut at the RBC Canadian Open, Hadwin still felt good about where his game was at, specifically how he feels over the golf ball.

“The wind is always tricky, there’s not a lot of margin for error out there on a lot of holes,” Hadwin assessed. “I took advantage of some good clubs, just good stock yardages where I didn’t have to do a whole lot, which is always a nice feeling.

“I was able to hit a few close and make a couple big ones — or longer putts on the front.”

This is Hadwin’s third career 18-hole lead or co-lead on the PGA Tour and each of the past two efforts yielded a tie for seventh place. Hadwin’s best previous finish at the Memorial Tournament is a tie for 11th.

Scheffler utilized his game off the tee and made 101 feet worth of putts, using four back-nine birdies to post a 5-under score, one behind Hadwin.

Collin Morikawa is an additional shot behind. He got off to a fast start recording three birdies on his first five holes.

Morikawa’s fast start can be attributed to an eagle on the par-4 second hole. The American pulled a sand wedge from 133 yards out, earning the lone two on the hole.

“We decided to hit sand wedge just so I could hit it as hard as I could and I was never going over the green,” he said of the highlight reel shot. “Before the ball’s landing I think J.J. (Jakovac) was talking about it going in, and thankfully it did, and it was nice. I haven’t holed out in a while and that just shows I think kind of where the irons are getting to.”

Scheffler is going for his fifth win on tour this season and were he to accomplish that he would be the first player to do so since Justin Thomas in 2016-17.

Xander Schauffele, making his first start since triumphing in the PGA Championship for his first career major, has backed up that play with a 4-under par 68. It was also the lone bogey-free round among the 73 golfers who teed it up.

Schauffele had some troubles off the tee hitting 8 of 14 fairways, which tied for 49th in the field. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting at 3.947, draining 133 feet worth of putts.

He stated after talking to reporters that he was going to go straight to the driving range, but even so was proud of how he hung in there.

“I’m going to go to the range after this, after we finish talking, and hit the center of the club face a little more, find some more fairways and some more greens,” determined Schauffele. “I’m happy with how I played, with how I stuck in there and really happy my short game bailed me out on a day that could have been a lot worse.”

Were Schauffele to win he would be the first golfer since Tiger Woods in 2000 to win both the Memorial Tournament and PGA Championship in the same year.

Ludvig Aberg, also making his first start since the PGA Championship, found himself two under par through the front nine courtesy of some sharp play on the tee, but was temporarily undone by misplaying the par-3 12th, the lone blemish on his card.

Aberg quickly rebounded from this, recording birdies on his next three holes, remaining clean in his final three holes.

“It was nice to play golf,” he observed. “Obviously, this golf course is very challenging, and it demands a lot of good golf shots, and it was nice to see those. Obviously, playing with Scottie, you expect good golf. It’s always nice to play with someone who is also playing well. So, it was a good day and hopefully we can keep that up.”

Corey Conners rounds out the quartet tied for third place and had a bogey-free round until he gave a stroke back on the final hole. All told, Connors did rank fourth in Strokes Gained: Putting and tied for fourth in scrambling.

Connors’s round commenced with a birdie from three feet on the second hole. Four of his five birdies came from 15 feet or closer, with the outlier being a 26-foot effort on 14.

“It was a good day,” Conners deduced. “I don’t have the greatest track record here, but really love the golf course and felt like I did a lot of things really well. Felt good about things coming into the week and nice to get off to a good start. Made some nice up-and-downs to keep momentum going throughout the round and I think that was definitely a key today. Yeah, I made a lot of nice putts.”

Defending champion Viktor Hovland finds himself three shots back at 3 under. He had a bizarre highlight on the 12th hole. After hitting his tee shot in a bunker, the Norwegian could not advance a potential birdie out of the sand, but his second attempt proved more beneficial, finding the cup.

“It was a good round,” he offered. “I’m pretty happy with 3 under par. A little breezy out there. Even though the greens are a little bit softer, it’s still really hard out there. Hit a lot of really nice shots but hit some bad ones too. But I was able to recover and do some good damage control.”


  1. Adam Hadwin -6

  2. Scottie Scheffler -5

T3. Ludvig Aberg -4

T3. Corey Conners -4

T3. Collin Morikawa -4

T3. Xander Schauffele -4

T7. Akshay Bhatia -3

T7. Tommy Fleetwood -3

T7. Billy Horschel -3

T7. Viktor Hovland -3

T7. Seamus Power -3

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