DUBLIN, Ohio — Rory McIlroy made two eagles and three birdies on the back nine at Muirfield Village — along with a double bogey — on his way to a 9-under 63 and a three-shot lead Thursday after the opening round of the Memorial tournament.
Coming off a victory at last week’s BMW Championship on the European Tour, McIlroy shot the lowest opening round in 39 years at the Memorial—and he did so despite injuring a knee when he caught his spikes while making his second shot at the seventh hole. “The inside of it is sore, a little swollen,” McIlroy said.
After injuring his knee, though, his round was simply spectacular.
From the deep rough right of the 10th fairway, he hammered a shot to the middle of the green and it caught a slope and settled 4 feet away. He hit 4-iron to 25 feet on the par-5 11th and holed a 25-foot birdie putt in the center of the cup.
He next holed a tough 15-foot birdie on the 13th, and then hit a towering 5-iron to 15 feet on the par-5 15 for another eagle.
McIlroy picked up his final birdie with a 12-foot birdie after a great tee shot to the deceptively tough front pin on the par 3, and then finished his round with an 8-foot putt to save par from the bunker.
Masters champion Bubba Watson, Chris Kirk and Paul Casey each had a 66, one shot better than Keegan Bradley.
Adam Scott, who won at Colonial last week in his debut at No. 1 in the world, opened with a 69.
Phil Mickelson was a 5 under and one off the lead through 15, but then finished with a bogey and two double bogeys that left him at 72.
Former UA stars Jim Furyk (71) and Rory Sabbatini (72) are well of the pace as well.
MALMO, Sweden — Jens Dantorp recorded six birdies in a bogey-free round of 6-under-par 66 on his home course to set the pace at the Nordea Masters tournament. He shares the lead with Englishman Eddie Pepperell, who carded birdies on three of his last five holes.
Scotsman Stephen Gallacher, Daan Huizing of the Netherlands, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin and Swedes Rikard Karlberg and Sebastian Soderberg trailed the leaders by one shot.
Swede Henrik Stenson, ranked No. 2 in the world, made seven birdies but they were offset by four bogeys in his round of 3-under 69.