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Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, tees off on the 15th hole during the first round of the Memorial golf tournament Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Golf: Rory McIlroy keeps on rolling at Memorial with 9-under 63
First Published May 29 2014 05:53 pm • Last Updated May 30 2014 08:21 pm

Dublin, Ohio • Whether it’s his health or his personal life, Rory McIlroy is not easily distracted when he’s on top of his game.

McIlroy made two eagles and three birdies on the back nine at Muirfield Village — along with a double bogey — on his way to a 9-under 63 and a three-shot lead Thursday after the opening round of the Memorial.

At a glance

Golf results

PGA-Memorial Par

At Muirfield Village Golf Club course

Dublin, Ohio

Purse » $6.2 million

Yardage » 7,392; Par » 72 (36-36)

First-round leaders

Rory McIlroy 32-31 — 63 -9

Paul Casey 32-34 — 66 -6

Chris Kirk 32-34 — 66 -6

Bubba Watson 32-34 — 66 -6

Keegan Bradley 34-33 — 67 -5

Michael Thompson 32-35 — 67 -5

J.B. Holmes 35-32 — 67 -5

Hunter Mahan 34-34 — 68 -4

Ryan Moore 31-37 — 68 -4

Justin Leonard 33-35 — 68 -4

Ben Curtis 34-35 — 69 -3

Mark Wilson 36-33 — 69 -3

Martin Flores 35-34 — 69 -3

Kevin Kisner 33-36 — 69 -3

Aaron Baddeley 29-40 — 69 -3

Jordan Spieth 35-34 — 69 -3

Adam Scott 34-35 — 69 -3

Charles Howell III 35-34 — 69 -3

Nick Watney 34-35 — 69 -3

Charley Hoffman 36-33 — 69 -3

Hideki Matsuyama 34-36 — 70 -2

Ernie Els 33-37 — 70 -2

Hyung-Sung Kim 35-35 — 70 -2

Thomas Aiken 34-36 — 70 -2

Nicholas Thompson 34-36 — 70 -2

Scott Brown 33-37 — 70 -2

Lucas Glover 32-38 — 70 -2

David Hearn 37-34 — 71 -1

Pat Perez 35-36 — 71 -1

Marc Leishman 35-36 — 71 -1

Josh Teater 35-36 — 71 -1

Billy Horschel 34-37 — 71 -1

Luke Donald 34-37 — 71 -1

Jason Dufner 36-35 — 71 -1

Steve Stricker 35-36 — 71 -1

Russell Henley 35-36 — 71 -1

Freddie Jacobson 35-36 — 71 -1

Michael Putnam 35-36 — 71 -1

Thorbjorn Olesen 35-36 — 71 -1

Camilo Villegas 35-36 — 71 -1

Greg Chalmers 33-38 — 71 -1

Stewart Cink 34-37 — 71 -1

Brendon Todd 35-36 — 71 -1

Gary Woodland 34-37 — 71 -1

Will MacKenzie 34-38 — 72 E

Bo Van Pelt 34-38 — 72 E

Scott Stallings 38-34 — 72 E

Matt Jones 36-36 — 72 E

Charl Schwartzel 34-38 — 72 E

Carl Pettersson 35-37 — 72 E

Scott Langley 36-36 — 72 E

Robert Garrigus 35-37 — 72 E

Brian Davis 36-36 — 72 E

Brice Garnett 36-36 — 72 E

David Lingmerth 37-35 — 72 E

Ryo Ishikawa 37-35 — 72 E

Phil Mickelson 32-40 — 72 E

Kevin Na 37-35 — 72 E

Jason Day 36-36 — 72 E

Kevin Stadler 35-37 — 72 E

Robert Streb 35-37 — 72 E

Ben Martin 33-39 — 72 E

Andrew Svoboda 36-36 — 72 E

Russell Knox 37-36 — 73 +1

Jason Bohn 34-39 — 73 +1

George McNeill 36-37 — 73 +1

Vijay Singh 36-37 — 73 +1

Jim Furyk 38-35 — 73 +1

Justin Rose 36-37 — 73 +1

K.J. Choi 35-38 — 73 +1

Justin Thomas 37-36 — 73 +1

Also

Daniel Summerhays 37-37 — 74 +2

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A week ago, McIlroy began his week at Wentworth by announcing he and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and broken off their engagement. Then, he went out and won the BMW Championship for his strongest win in more than two years.

At the Memorial, McIlroy caught his spikes in the turf on his second shot at the seventh hole and felt pain the rest of the round, especially when he had to put a little extra pop into tee shots or long irons. He was limping when he walked off the stage after talking about how he made five birdies and two eagles after hurting his knee.

It was the lowest opening round in 39 years at the Memorial.

"I don’t think it’s anything more than just being confident with my game," McIlroy said. "I was expecting this to happen. I’ve been playing well. I’ve been posting good numbers, good rounds. And I knew my game was close. And honestly, I don’t think it’s anything to do with what’s happening off the golf course. It’s just I’ve been trending in the right direction, and it’s starting to all come together."

Masters champion Bubba Watson, Chris Kirk and Paul Casey each had a 66 while playing in calmer and slightly softer morning conditions. Keegan Bradley was at 67, notable not because it was his best score at Muirfield Village but because it was his first time in his four years on the PGA Tour that he did not use a belly putter.

Adam Scott, who won at Colonial last week in his debut at No. 1 in the world, lost momentum with a shot into the water for double bogey on No. 9, and he missed some birdie and eagle chances on the back nine that would have allowed him to stay close with McIlroy. He settled for a 69.

Phil Mickelson also looked sharp — at least for 15 holes. He was at 5 under after a birdie on the 15th hole — at the time, just one shot out of the lead. But he hit into the water on the par-3 16th and did well to escape with bogey. He came up short on the 17th and muffed two flops shots on his way to double bogey. And he finished with another double bogey by three-putting the 18th. That gave him a 72

"Just threw away a good round," Mickelson said.


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