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Friday, June 1, 2012 - Page updated at 07:00 p.m.
Scott Stallings takes first-round lead in Memorial | Golf
By The Associated Press
DUBLIN, Ohio — Scott Stallings made one of just four birdies on the 18th hole at Muirfield Village for a 6-under-par 66 and a one-stroke lead in the Memorial.
Considering everything else that went on Thursday, that was barely worth noting.
One shot behind was Erik Compton, whose second heart transplant came from a donor in Ohio. Rory McIlroy made a quadruple bogey on his third hole and wondered if he was headed for another missed cut. He made a strong recovery for a 71. Tiger Woods, in the midst of his worst stretch as a pro, overcame a double bogey on the 18th for a 70.
The biggest surprise was Phil Mickelson. He shot a 79 then withdrew, saying he was fatigued and needed rest before the U.S. Open.
Compton has been an amazing story as long as he has played golf. He had his first heart transplant at 12, played in the Walker Cup after a solid career at Georgia, nearly died from a heart attack on his way home from the golf course in 2007, had a second transplant in May 2008, and earned his PGA Tour card for the first time last year through the Nationwide Tour.
"It's just a great story, obviously, and it's a great place — for me, it's a special place," Compton said. "For me, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my donor. To be able to play here, regardless of whether I play good or bad, it's just always a nice week."
Tiger Woods, playing in the group behind him, chopped up the 18th hole for a double bogey and still managed a 2-under 70. Ryan Moore of Puyallup also was at 70. Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor shot a 3-over 75.
"I didn't do anything great and I didn't do anything poorly," Woods said. "I was just very consistent. And I think with the golf course being the way it's set up, you just have to be that way. ... Over the next three days, hopefully I can play as well as I did today."
Mickelson wasn't anywhere near those scores, and when his round ended, he was nowhere near the golf course. Mickelson walked out of the scoring hut after signing for his worst score ever at the Memorial, and said he was withdrawing because of mental fatigue.
"The course here is in such great shape. It's a beautiful way to get ready for the U.S. Open," he said. "But I'm hitting it so poorly that ... I have to look at what's best for me to play in the U.S. Open, and I'm going to take the next few days to kind of rest up."
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
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