Tiger Woods kept early leader Ryan Moore in his sights but was a day to forget for Rory McIlroy in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.
The Holywood star made two double bogeys in a 75 that left him tied for 88th, ten shots off the pace on three-over par.
As Moore missed just one fairway in his seven-under 65 to head Jordan Spieth by one stroke, McIlroy paid for his mistakes from the tee and carded his highest round this year. Scores
He made a 12 footer for an opening birdie at the 10th and then saved par from 25 feet at the 565 yards 11th despite finding water with his lay-up.
But he was clearly uncomfortable off the tee and ran up a double bogey seven after losing a ball left off the tee at the par-five 15th, then bogeyed the 17th, spinning a wedge off the green, before launching a three-wood out of bounds right at the par-four second to run up another double bogey.
He would birdie at the par-five fifth but he was ranked last of the morning starters for strokes gained off the tee and ended the day nine shots adrift of playing partner Spieth, who chipped in twice and made 99 feet of putts, including a 36 footer for eagle at the fifth, in his 66.
Woods birdied his 16th and 17th holes for a 70 but admitted he was frustrated that his group featuring Justin Rose and Bryson DeChambeau was put on the clock.
”That was frustrating," said Woods, who can match Sam Snead if he claims his 82nd PGA Tour win in Ohio. "That made things a little more complicated. It's one of those things where it's a group effort to try and get back into position.
”In the group ahead of us; JT [Justin Thomas] doesn't take a lot of time, Rory [McIlroy] plays quick and Jordan [Spieth] was seven under, so they were obviously playing fast and we were not."
On the European Tour, Gavin Moynihan shot a one-under 70 and Michael Hoey a level par 71 as Swede Anton Karlsson carded an eight-under 63 to put himself in position to claim the top seeding at the Belgian Knockout. Scores
The top 32 from each side of the draw will make it through to the knockout stages tomorrow and Moynihan was 22nd and Hoey 32nd in their half of the field at Rinkven International near Antwerp.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Jon Rahm will tee it up in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch from July 4-7 seeking his second win in three years.
In the US Women's Open, Stephanie Meadow opened with a three-over 74 to lie tied 82nd and Leona Maguire bogey the 18th to share 101st after a four-over 75 at the Country Club of Charleston
Japan's Mamiko Higa, who shot a bogey-free 65 to lead by a shot fro Germany's Esther Henseleit and amateur Gina Kim, 19, a rising sophomore at Duke University who helped the Blue Devils win the NCAA team title two weeks ago and finished her round eagle-birdie.
Meadow started in the morning wave and after bogeys at the 13th, first, third and sixth, she signed off with a birdie four at the ninth, hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 11 greens in regulation in a 32-putt round.
Maguire played in the afternoon and after a double bogey at the second, she had to make a 14 footer for bogey at the 201 yard sixth after a poor tee shot right before fighting back.
She birdied the seventh with deft second to seven feet and followed that with another birdie from six feet at the par-five ninth to turn in one-over.
But she couldn’t get up and down from a bunker at the 188-yard par-three 11th, Redan, which had a stroke average of 3.47, making it the joint toughest par three in the US Women’s Open over the past 25 years.
After grinding for pars at the next four holes, she dropped two shots in her last three, bunkering her approach to the 16th before driving into trouble at the 18th.
The USGA reported:
Two strokes back and alone in fourth at 4-under 67 is Celine Boutier, 25, of France, who missed the cut in her only two previous Women’s Open starts, in 2014 and 2015, while she was playing at Duke.
There have only been three lower first-round scores in U.S. Women’s Open history than Higa’s. Helen Alfredsson shot 63 in 1994, and Mirim Lee (2016) and Kelli Kuehne (1999) opened with 64s. Juli Inkster in 1999 has the only other opening round of 65.
“My putting speed matched with my putting style; that was really the key,” said Higa, who hit 15 greens and jump-started her round with birdies on holes 3-5. “I haven’t been playing good the last two weeks, so I didn’t expect much.”
Higa, who is married to professional sumo wrestler Ikioi Shota, is a two-time Japan Women’s Amateur champion who has won five times on the LPGA of Japan Tour since turning professional in 2012. Her best previous finish in a major is a tie for fourth at last year’s British Women’s Open.
Henseleit got into the championship last week as an alternate after losing a playoff at a sectional qualifier in England. She has had eight top-10 finishes in her past 10 starts on the Ladies European Tour and the Australian Ladies Tour.
Kim, who shot 72-79 to miss the cut in her Women’s Open debut last year, holed out a 140-yard 8-iron shot for eagle on the par-4 eighth, her 17th hole, then barely missed her 18-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 ninth. Her 66 matches the low round by an amateur in U.S. Women’s Open history, with Brittany Lincicome the last amateur to post that score.
Higa played the Seth Raynor-designed layout in the fourth group off No. 1 in the morning wave, when the course played on average 2.5 strokes easier than in the afternoon (72.7 strokes to 75.2). Conditions became more difficult mostly due to winds that gusted to 25 miles an hour on the course along Wappoo Creek on James Island, about 5 miles from downtown Charleston.
Sei Young Kim of the Republic of Korea and Azahara Munoz of Spain were tied for fifth at 3-under 68. For Munoz, it was just her second round in the 60s in 43 career Women’s Open rounds. Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn and world No. 1 Jin-Young Ko both opened with rounds of 1-over 72.
In amateur golf, Dundalk's Caolan Rafferty and Portmarnock's Conor Purcell led the Irish challenge after the opening day of the Brabazon Trophy at the Alwoodley in Leeds.
Rafferty finished bogey-bogey for a one-under 70 that left him tied for seventh, just four strokes behind England's Charlie Strickland, as Purcell dropped five shots in his last six holes for a level par 71. Scores
Purcell was joint 13th with Mallow's James Sugrue, Hermitage's Rowan Lester and Kinsale's John Murphy tied 23rd after one-over 72's.