Different emotions for Irish pair after round one at Memorial
Only a shot separates Lowry and Harrington but Dubliner will be the happier of the two
Pádraig Harrington enjoyed a steady start to Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament. Photo: Getty Images
Frustration was the order of the day for Shane Lowry in Dublin, Ohio as he only managed a level par opening round of 72 at the Memorial Tournament, despite some good play.
The Offalyman picked up two birdies on his front nine – offset by just one bogey – before picking up another shot at his 10th hole to get to two under at the tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus.
With eight holes to go he looked like he might climb up the leaderboard and get within touching distance of joint leaders Jason Dufner and David Lingmerth, but back-to-back bogeys at the third and fourth – his 12th and 13th – put paid to that.
The round of level par left him one shot behind compatriot Pádraig Harrington who will have left the course feeling much happier after rolling in two birdies in his last five holes to go alongside a single bogey in a round of 71.
Meanwhile, Dufner had to settle for only a share of the lead after blotting his copybook at the end of the first round.
Former US PGA champion Dufner fired six birdies and an eagle to leave himself one shot clear of Sweden’s Lingmerth heading to the 18th hole.
But his first bogey of the day on the par-four last saw him post a seven-under 65.
Jordan Spieth and Daniel Summerhays are a shot further back on six under but defending champion William McGirt is off the pace after carding a 71.
World number one Dustin Johnson faces a battle to make the cut after failing to make a birdie in his six-over 78.
After Lingmerth had set the pace in Ohio with eight birdies and an eagle in his 65, Dufner launched his bid for a fifth PGA Tour title by covering the front nine in 31.
Further birdies on the 11th, 14th and 15th left Dufner on eight under but he was unable to complete a flawless round.
Spieth, one of six top-10 players in action at Muirfield Village, enjoyed another encouraging day after returning to form in his home state of Texas last week.
It would have been an even better round for the world number six had he not bogeyed the final two holes.
Scots Martin Laird and Russell Knox will begin Friday’s second round on one under, alongside Harrington.
England’s Luke Donald had to settle for even par after carding four birdies and four bogeys in his 72.