DUBLIN, OHIO | The early wave of players were already heading to their lunches and famous Muirfield Village milkshakes early Thursday afternoon when the Memorial Tournament fully began.
On the 473-yard, par-4 first hole, the same place where big bang artist Bryson DeChambeau had launched a 423-yard tee shot earlier in the wind-rustled day, Tiger Woods played his first truly competitive hole in nearly five months.
Though the tournament was closed to spectators, Woods – grouped with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka – drew a crowd anyway. There were 19 golf carts, seven cameramen, three photographers, a handful of golf writers and a few well-positioned residents peering through their wrought-iron fences as Woods, dressed in gray pants and an aquamarine shirt, went about his business.
A careful tee shot into the first fairway, a 146-yard approach shot to 10 feet left of the hole and a beautiful curling putt for an opening birdie. There was no applause but there was none needed.
Walking up a hill toward the second tee, a man in h...
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