• 45°

First-timers at the Memorial off to fast starts

By Mitch Stacy

AP Sports Writer

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Beau Hossler is looking for a strong finish after another fast start.

The 23-year-old Hossler logged four birdies on the front nine, then recovered from a bogey on the par-3 16th to birdie the 17th and get back to 6-under 66. Hossler is one shot off the lead after the opening round of the Memorial on Thursday.

“Greens were phenomenal,” Hossler said. “If you get your ball below the hole you can definitely make some putts, and fortunately today I did.”

Hossler has three top-10 finishes this season, his first on the PGA Tour. He flirted with his first tour win a month ago at the Houston Open, but lost a sudden-death playoff to Ian Poulter on April 1 after he triple-bogeyed the first playoff hole.

Hossler avoided such monumental mistakes on Thursday in his first trip to Muirfield Village.

The bigger challenge lies ahead for Hossler, who hasn’t managed to finish strong since Houston. He shot a 64 in the opening round of the Colonial last week, but ended the tourney at 1 under in a tie for 64th place.

“I have tons of confidence from closing out tournaments from junior and amateur golf and college golf. It’s not a concern of mine,” Hossler said. “Obviously I noticed a trend, but at the same time I think I’m on the right track and I’ve just got to stick with what I’m doing.”

•••

NIEMANN’S HOT START

Another young golfer, 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann, had a big day playing in his first Memorial.

Playing in just his fifth pro tournament, Niemann finished the first round with a 7-under 65 for a first-place tie with Abraham Ancer and Hideki Matsuyama.

Niemann, who is from Chile, said that he surprised even himself with his early success.

“I think that it has been all really quick,” said the youthful-looking Niemann, who wears braces. “Two months ago I was playing the Masters as an amateur, and right now I’m already played four tournaments as a pro and it feels really nice. … So being out here, playing with the best players, it can’t be any better.”

Niemann carded eight birdies in looking for his third top-10 finish. He finished sixth in his pro debut at the Valero Texas Open and tied for eighth last week at the Colonial.

•••

GLOVER RETURNS

Lucas Glover returned to the PGA Tour for the first time since his wife, Krista, was arrested on May 13 in Florida on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He posted a 5-under 67.

The charge against Krista Glover stemmed from an altercation with her husband and his mother after he missed the 54-hole cut at The Players Championship. The police report in Florida said Glover told deputies his wife often starts arguments with him after a poor round.

Lucas Glover had said that he appreciates the support that he has received. He has asked for privacy.

“I’m going to stay away from that stuff,” Glover said Thursday when asked about the matter. “I made some statements the last couple weeks. I’m just going to have to refer to that stuff and I would prefer to talk about today, if that’s OK.”

Glover said his biggest concern was not being to play much the last few weeks because of rain in Florida, and a long line of PGA Tour players at an indoor facility at The Bear’s Club where he plays in Jupiter, Florida.

Glover finished the first round two strokes off the lead.

•••

SAME OLD, SAME OLD

Despite a forecast of afternoon thundershowers in central Ohio, the multitude of umbrellas being carried by fans stayed closed. That could change on Friday, when rain and thundershowers are expected.

Nothing new around here. Only seven tournaments have been uninterrupted by rain over the past three decades at the Memorial. Last year, there were two rain delays on the final day.

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed.

___

Follow Mitch Stacy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mitchstacy

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras