Rookies lead the way at Memorial

Abraham Ancer finishes off the 18th hole with a par to complete a 7-under opening round at The Memorial Tournament and hold a share of the lead.

The featured groups included names like Woods, Mickelson, McIlroy and Spieth, but the best performing group was one few looked to prior to the opening round of The Memorial Tournament.

Tournament rookies in Abraham Ancer and Beau Hossler were matched up with Bill Haas in the third group of the day and those rookies had two of the best rounds of the day.

Ancer shot a 65 and holds the early lead with Hideki Matsuyama and 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann while Hossler is one back after shooting a 66.

Four golfers sit two off the lead after shooting opening-round 67s Thursday.

“I hit the ball really good off the tee, hit my irons well and I putted well and I scrambled really good,” Ancer said. “When you do that, it’s usually a pretty good round.”

Beau Hossler wraps up a 6-under opening round at The Memorial Tournament to sit one shot off the lead.

Hossler said he took advantage of the overnight rains.

“I drove it pretty good, got my ball in position and then was able to be pretty aggressive into these soft greens,” he said.

Despite not having played in the Memorial before, Ancer was at the event a few years back to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award as a college freshman.

“It was like déjà vu walking the fairways, watching from outside and now playing,” Ancer said. “It’s a dream come true. And today I felt great.”

Among some of the notables, Masters champion Patrick Reed finished the day 1-under as did Bubba Watson. Five-time Memorial winner Tiger Woods shot an even par 72 in his first round at the event since 2015 and defending champion Jason Dufner is 3-over par after shooting an opening round 75.

Masters Champion Patrick Reed comes out of the bunker on No. 7 on the way to a one-under par opening round.

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