Two weeks ahead of schedule, Lee Janzen played a nearly flawless round of 7-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead after yesterday's opening round of the Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
Janzen, the U.S. Open champion last year and also in 1993, is using the Memorial as preparation for this year's Open. He said the fast greens at Muirfield Village Golf Club, made even faster by a rare stretch of dry weather and high wind, would get him ready for the challenges of Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina in two weeks.
"I want to be this far away," he said, holding his thumb and forefinger apart by the width of a golf ball, "when I get to the tee two weeks from now on Thursday at Pinehurst. I want to be one inch away. I don't want to be there before then."
The only blot on his day was a bogey on the final hole that prevented him matching the tournament's first-round record.
Nineteen-year-old Spanish phenom Sergio Garcia, Frank Nobilo and local favorite Chris Perry shared second place at 5-under 67.
Tiger Woods had five birdies and a bogey to lead the group at 68. Joining him were former British Open winner Justin Leonard, reigning PGA champion winner Vijay Singh and journeyman Dennis Paulson.
Defending champion Fred Couples was at 71 and the world's top-ranked player, David Duval, finished at 72. Tournament founder, course designer and native son Jack Nicklaus, cheered by large crowds as he continued to test his hip replacement, shot a 74.
No one in the tournament's 24 years ever had more trouble on the closing hole than did John Daly, who putted six times -- feigning a kick at the ball while stabbing at it with his putter one time -- on the way to a 10, the highest score ever on the par-4 hole. After signing a hat for a fan and then tossing it backward over his head, Daly went into the scoring tent and withdrew.
NCAA: Northwestern sophomore Luke Donald battled high wind, deep rough and fast greens to post a 4-under 68 for the lead after 36 holes of the NCAA men's championships in Chaska, Minn.
Donald, from Buckinghamshire, England, was one of only three players in the field of 156 to be under par at the halfway point at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Donald's 3-under 141 overall is good for a two-stroke lead over East Tennessee State's Chris Wisler.