PGA Tour Memorial Round Recap: Phil Mickelson Withdraws, Tiger Woods in the Hunt

Michael Jewett@@JewettMikeContributor IIJune 1, 2012

DUBLIN, OH - MAY 31: Tiger Woods hits his second shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club on May 31, 2012 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The PGA Tour's Memorial tournament began Thursday, and it was anything but an ordinary round. All of the stars on the PGA were in Dublin, Ohio, competing and preparing for the US Open in two weeks. 

Tiger Woods played his first round on the PGA since a mediocre weekend at The Players Championship in the beginning of May. On Thursday, Tiger shot a consistent round; not amazing, but not so bad we have to question if he played with only his left hand. 

Tiger shot a two-under 70, leaving him four strokes behind leader Scott Stalling. Tiger's game looks on the road to where it used to be, but it still needs plenty of work. One of the statistics Tiger used to own was birdies on par 5s.

He ranks 37th this year. 

Tiger can get back to the top of the leaderboard if he regains his dominance on par 5s and on the greens.

Unlike Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson had a day to forget.

Lefty shot a seven-over 79 Thursday and quickly withdrew from the tournament, citing mental exhaustion. After three straight tournaments in Texas followed by a trip to Italy and France for his wife's 40th birthday, one can understand taking some time off before the next major on the tour, one Phil has never won.

Looking at it as a recreational golfer and avid fan, I always feel a little better about myself when I see professionals shooting those above-par rounds. Not wishing them bad luck, but it's nice to see they aren't invincible and have rounds just like all of us.

Speaking of golfers not playing their best recently, Rory McIlroy was also at the Memorial Tournament. Lucky for Rory, he looked much better than previous weekends. After missing two straight cuts on tour, Rory shot a one-under 71.

The round could have gone much better, but McIlroy finished the third hole with a quadruple bogey. However, a chip-in on the fifth hole for eagle got the Irish golfer back on track.

Leader Scott Stallings was lucky to tee off later in the day, missing the harsher winds and faster greens, and he finished the round with a six-under 66 and one shot ahead of the pack. Stalling's putting was a key factor with nine one-putt holes, and he even chipped in for an eagle on the seventh hole.


As the weekend progresses, I will continue to write recaps for the rounds, highlighting the amazing shots made and the leaderboard until a winner is decided on Sunday.