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DUBLIN, OHIO (AP) - Charl Schwartzel made sure one hole didn’t ruin an entire round Thursday in the Memorial.
Schwartzel hit the ball so consistently well at Muirfield Village that the former Masters champion twice had stretches of four straight birdies. And when he made a double bogey with an 8-iron in hand and his ball on a tee toward the end of the round, he got rid of that bad taste with one last birdie for a 7-under 65.
Woods hit the ball well enough to be much closer, though he missed too many birdie chances and didn’t make up any ground on the par 5s in his 71. Woods was one shot worse than 53-year-old Fred Couples, the Presidents Cup captain at Muirfield Village this fall, and one shot better than 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, who has played more PGA Tour events than Woods over the last two months.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, might be headed for another short week at the tournament Jack Nicklaus built. After opening with a birdie, McIlroy didn’t putt nearly well enough to atone for some loose shots.
McIlroy four-putted the par-3 12th for a double bogey, had a three-putt bogey on No. 7 and ended his round by missing a 4-foot birdie putt. That gave him a 78.
STOCKHOLM (AP) _ Italy’s Matteo Manassero birdied his first six holes en route to a 6-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead in the Nordea Masters with Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal.
The 20-year-old Manassero is coming off a victory Sunday in England in the BMW PGA Championship.
Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed and Alexander Noren were a stroke back along with England’s Simon Wakefield and Chris Lloyd and Wales’ Jamie Donaldson. American Peter Uihlein opened with a 71.
By Tammy Bruce
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