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Donald leads after first round of Memorial

Thursday, June 4, 2009

By The Associated Press

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Tiger Woods hardly missed a fairway, a big improvement. Luke Donald hardly missed a putt, and that was far more rewarding Thursday at the Memorial.

Donald set a tournament record by taking only 20 putts, which allowed him to tie a tournament record by opening with an 8-under 64 and a three-shot lead over a group that included Jim Furyk and Jason Day, who bogeyed his last two holes.

What seemed like a normal round at Muirfield Village turned extraordinary for Donald when he rapped in a 12-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-3 eighth hole, starting a streak of six consecutive birdies. He one-putted nine straight holes until a routine par on the 18th hole to match the lowest opening round at the Memorial.

Woods went with a slightly higher loft in his driver (10 degrees) and continued to make strides with his swing. He didn't miss a fairway until his 3-wood on the 18th hole deflected off a tree and landed in a bunker. Woods finished with a 69, missing an 8-foot par putt on the final hole. His other bogey came on a three-putt at the 13th.

Furyk, who won the Memorial seven years ago, birdied three of his final four holes for a 67. He was joined by Day, Ted Purdy and Thomas Aiken.

Defending champion Kenny Perry had a 72.

LPGA State Farm Classic

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead with fellow South Korean Jee Young Lee in the LPGA State Farm Classic.

A five-time major winner, the 31-year-old Pak is seeking her 25th LPGA Tour win and first since the 2007 Jamie Farr Classic. She had six birdies -- three on the final four holes -- in tying her lowest round this year.

Kris Tamulis opened with a 66, and Natalie Gulbis, Suzann Pettersen and Anja Monke shot 67s at Panther Creek in the final tuneup for the McDonald's LPGA Classic next week at Bulle Rock in Maryland. Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer were in a large group at 69, and Michelle Wie shot a 70. Kraft Nabisco winner Brittany Lincicome was in danger of missing the cut after opening with a 75.

Celtic Manor Wales Open

NEWPORT, Wales (AP) -- South Africa's David Frost shot a 5-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead in the Celtic Manor Wales Open.

The 49-year-old Frost was tied with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, England's Nick Dougherty and Scotland's Alan Mclean.

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie shot a 69 on The Twenty Ten Course, the site of the 2010 matches. U.S. captain Corey Pavin had a 72.



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