International men and women of mystery

The trio of Hideki Matsuyama, Abraham Ancer and Joaquin Niemann are your leaders after one round of the Memorial Tournament. On a relatively easy day for scoring, 60 players shot even par or better at Muirfield Village with 15 of them firing rounds of 68 or better. Leaderboard

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Leading the Charge
Playing in the morning wave, Abraham Ancer and Joaquin Niemann both made 8 birdies and 1 bogey on their way to the top. Ancer is in the midst of his best year on the PGA Tour so far, notching five top 25 finishes and two top 10s. Niemann, the 19 year old phenom from Chile, is coming off his second top 10 of the season at last week’s Fort Worth Invitational. Niemann has been impressive since turning professional in April and has a shot to earn his PGA Tour card without going through the Web.com Tour. A finish of third or better would accomplish this rare feat, and the Chilean would be the youngest to ever achieve it.

Standing on the 13th tee at -1, Hideki Matsuyama reeled off 4 birdies and an eagle on his next five holes. He closed with a par and finds himself tied for the lead. Matsuyama is in danger of falling outside of the top 10 in the world this week, but this strong start puts him in great position to avoid the fall. Hideki won his first-ever PGA Tour event at Muirfield Village back in 2014, so he will have some good memories to lean on this weekend.

Hossler, I Hardly Know Her
One shot back of the leaders is Beau Hossler. He tallied 7 birdies and 1 bogey on his way to yet another great opening round. This is the fifth time he has shot a round of 66 or better on Thursday this season. He has finished in the top 20 in two of those events but outside of the top 40 in the others.

S’more in Contention
Rounding out the top 5 at the Memorial is the group of Jamie Lovemark, Kyle Stanley, Lucas Glover and Grayson Murray. This quartet have all had their highs and lows on the golf course (or social media) but all have the game to win on the PGA Tour. They each feature strong all-around skills, but Lovemark’s length could give him an advantage at a wet Muirfield Village.

The Ol’ Alabama Mudball
The Women’s U.S. Open got underway Thursday at Shoal Creek in Alabama. Unfortunately for the tournament, the weather has been the main story so far. Hurricane Alberto rolled through earlier this week and left much of the course with significant water issues. The greens and bunkers have recovered nicely, but the fairways are… damp. Still, the USGA chose not to implement lift, clean, and place.

Weather be damned, many women put up great rounds on Thursday. Tied at the top are Ariya Jutanugarn, Sarah-Jane Smith, and Jeongeun6 Lee at -5. No, that’s not a typo. There are 16 players at -2 or -3, so the weekend should be a tight affair.

Another special note about the event, there are 10 high schoolers playing. Linn Grant leads the pack at T-4!

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#GolfSchool
The Oklahoma State Cowboys put on a dominant performance on Wednesday and capped off the year by winning the NCAA Championship over Alabama. The Pokes finished the season with 12 titles and proved that they were unequivocally the best team.

There has been a lot of talk about OSU winning on their home golf course this week. The home field advantage no doubt helped, but they were the best team this season. I believe they would have won on any course you put them on. It is, however, a topic that would be interesting to revisit with the NCAA. Playing on a neutral course (perhaps a TPC venue) would even the playing field.

The bunker that changed golf
Find out how the 4th hole at Woking Golf Club changed history.

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The only Northern Irishman without a major
While attending Mammoth Dunes’ opening day, Golfweek contributor Eamon Lynch joined the podcast to discuss the Sand Valley resort, golf in the UK vs US, the PGA Tour schedule to date and the upcoming U.S. Open. Listen on iTunesStitcher or the website.

Quick Hooks
The Quicken Loans Invitational is officially heading to Detroit Country Club in 2019. Full story.

Sebastian Munoz and Roger Sloan lead after the first round of the Rex Hospital Open on the Web.com Tour. Leaderboard

Made it all the way through without mentioning Tiger (E). Boom.