Tiger Woods narrowly missed several putts that kept his score from going any lower than his one-under 71 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Round 1 of Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament.
This left him six strokes back of first-round leader Charl Schwartzel. There were still a few groups left on the course when Tiger finished, but no one who had a realistic shot of catching Schwartzel.
Woods is the defending champion at the Memorial, and he's had great success at this event, winning five times in his career. Combine that with the fact that Tiger has already claimed four victories in his six stroke-play PGA events this year, and there is no reason to think that he can't overcome this deficit to be right in contention on Sunday.
Check out his Round 1 scorecard, and then I'll break down how his Round 1 played out.
Tiger Woods' 2013 Memorial Round 1 Scorecard
Note: Birdies and eagles appear in bold, and bogeys in italics.
*All stats via PGATour.com
The PGA tweeted the start of Tiger's seemingly annual dominance of Jack's tournament:
He is the defending champion at this tournament to go with wins in 2009, 2001, 2000 and 1999. It seems Tiger can win on Muirfield no matter what swing he uses, and there have been a few.
Check out this amazing gif recently put together by AdamSarson.com.
Tiger brought his most recent version of that swing to the No. 1 tee to start his round and promptly found a fairway bunker.
As you can see, it was no problem for Woods, as he was still able to muster a par, and he did so on the second as well.
On the third, Tiger missed an approach shot left. He then left his chip seven feet from the hole and couldn't make the par-saving putt. This dropped him to one-over, and he was eight shots behind leader Schwartzel, who was already in the clubhouse.
Tiger parred the next two, which included the par-five fifth after he played it safe and laid up with his second shot.
He played the sixth beautifully and birdied the par-four hole to move back to even par. He followed that up with another par on a par-five before gaining an edge on the course for the first time in his round by moving to one-under with a birdie on the par-three eighth. He earned that birdie after his tee shot left him this 10-foot effort for birdie:
Tiger suffered a bit of bad luck on holes Nos. 9 and 10, as birdie putts slid just past the edge of the cup and he parred both.
That led him to the par-five 11th, where he was looking for his first under-par score of the day on the par fives. He found it.
Taking a three-wood off the tee, Woods was still able to make the green in two. He missed his eagle putt just wide, but drained the easy birdie effort.
The stroke gained on No. 11 didn't last long, as Tiger found the rough on No. 12 and then left himself some work for par. He wound up sliding another one that was just off the edge. It was back to one-under for Woods.
Tiger's putting pattern continued as he slid a seven-foot birdie attempt on No. 13 past the edge and settled for par, but he made up for that one by sinking a breaking 13-foot birdie effort on the next hole to move back to two-under.
However, just as he did following his previous birdie, he gave the stroke right back.
Tiger was forced to lay up short on the par-five 15th, and then he botched his chip shot as he hit through the green and could not get up and down to save par.
The managing editor for TV One, Roland Martin, tweeted about the surprising par-five failure and Tiger's reaction:
With that bogey, Tiger finished Round 1 at even-par on the par fives.
Tiger parred the ensuing par-three. A nice approach on No. 17 saw Tiger sink a nice 10-foot birdie putt. However, as became his pattern, he bogeyed the next hole to give the stroke right back and finish at one-under par for the day.
Meanwhile, Shane Bacon, the editor of Yahoo!'s Devil Ball Golf, provides great golf tidbits and useful stats and notes. This is not one of them, but it's still fantastic:
Come on, Shane! I want to know what his results were in those tournaments.
In all, Tiger looked fine. He was hitting fairways, 78 percent of them, and his putting stroke was solid. Despite his close misses, he still finished the day with 1.692 strokes gained-putting.
Had a few of the putts he slid by the edge dropped, he would be right up there with Schwartzel.
I believe it is safe to assume that Tiger will at least be a factor on Sunday.
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