Dustin Johnson set the pace early at the Memorial with 10 birdies in the opening round on the way to an 8-under 64.
Johnson was on top form from the very outset, opening his round with three straight birdies, and that performance continued after he made the turn with four more consecutive birdies from Nos. 12 through 15. It’s the second straight event Johnson has opened with a 64; he started the AT&T Byron Nelson in a similar fashion two weeks ago.
Despite his six top-10 finishes so far, the 31-year-old has yet been unable to string together four dominant rounds of golf this season. He’s certainly had his moments, but has been lacking that extra gear that the Tour’s top players like Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy often find.
There’s little breathing space for Johnson. Brendan Steele is just behind after scoring an opening-round 65.
Steele had one of the best runs of the day on Thursday with five birdies in the space of six holes, starting on No. 2. Things became a little less consistent after he made the turn in 31. His back nine included a bogey, double-bogey, three birdies, and this shot on the final hole.
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