The morning wave has finished the first round at the 2012 Memorial on Thursday, and two of the biggest names in the game had roller coaster rounds. Tiger Woods put in some solid work at Muirfield Village, shooting perhaps his best round since his win at Bay Hill. Woods saved five pars by hitting putts between six and 10 feet, opportunities he's failed to convert during his struggles over the past two years. He drained two birdies on each side and had just one hiccup -- a double from the bunker at No. 18 that pushed him back to even as he made the turn. He finished with a round of 70 and at 2-under, is just one shot back of a quartet of leaders.
The other headliner out on the course early Thursday was Rory McIlroy, who truly had one of the more up-and-down rounds you will see. The Northern Irishman is coming off two missed cuts and looking to get his game in shape in advance of his defense at the U.S. Open. It was an ugly start, as Rory rinsed twice on his first nine holes, resulting in a quadruple bogey seven at No. 12 and a bogey at No. 17. With an outward nine of 39, it looked like Rory was headed for another early exit this week but battled back on his second 9 to come in with a 32. An eagle at the par-5 fifth hole pulled him back to even for the Tournament and he finished his round with a birdie to move to 1-under and two shots off the lead.
The No. 1 player in the world, Luke Donald, played with Rory and matched him with a 1-under round of 71. Donald is looking for back-to-back wins after winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth for the second year in a row last week in England.
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