The first round of the 2012 Memorial Tournament is complete and despite difficult course conditions and greens reportedly running at 14 on the Stimpmeter, Scott Stallings posted a round of 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead. Stallings shot 33 on each side, highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 seventh hole.
Tour pros love the baby of Jack Nicklaus's design career at Muirfield because it presents a tough challenge that still offers birdie opportunities. Stallings took advantage of those opportunities on Thursday, carding birdies on three of the final four holes to take the lead.
But the story at the top of the leaderboard has to be Erik Compton, who's just one back of Stallings at 5-under. Compton has had two heart transplants but has admirably battled his way back on tour, where he has had success and posted low numbers like the 67 at Muirfield Vilage on Thursday. He came in with a 32 on the back side to charge up the leaderboard. He's tied with Spencer Levin, who had a breakout season in 2011 but has not made much noise during the first half of 2012. Like Stallings, Levin eagled No. 7 and drained a 24-foot putt to take a two-shot lead at the time. A bogey on his final hole dropped him one-shot back.
Tiger Woods, who went out early, had one of his most impressive rounds since winning at Bay Hill in late March. Woods converted five putts from between six and 10 feet out to save par, scenarios that have plagued him over the past two years. He overcame a sandy double-bogey as he made the turn at No. 18, adding two birdies on his second nine to finish 2-under.
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