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Hadwin bounces back to lead at Memorial

Adam Hadwin leads the Memorial tournament by one shot, a week after missing the cut at his home Canadian Open (Michael Reaves)
Adam Hadwin leads the Memorial tournament by one shot, a week after missing the cut at his home Canadian Open (Michael Reaves)

Adam Hadwin bounced back from the disappointment of missing the cut at last week's Canadian Open to take a one-shot first-round lead at the PGA Memorial tournament in Ohio on Thursday.

The 36-year-old from Saskatchewan was left bitterly dismayed last week after bombing out on home turf at the halfway stage of Canada's biggest tournament, but shrugged off that gloom to fire a six-under-par 66 at Muirfield Village.

"It sucks to miss cuts, but missing a cut in Canada is definitely up there with some of the worst," Hadwin said on Thursday after moving to the top of the leaderboard.

But any lingering hangover from last week's disappointment evaporated after he reeled off eight birdies on Thursday in the final tournament before next week's US Open at Pinehurst.

Hadwin might have finished the day on a two-shot lead had it not been for a bogey on the 18th.

"It always stings a little to end a round with a bogey," said Hadwin, who vowed to keep his feet firmly on the ground heading into the final 54 holes of the tournament.

"It's only Thursday, a lot of golf left. I played a really solid round of golf today. I was in play off the tee, I hit a bunch of greens, I had some good looks, and then got going on the back nine."

World number one Scottie Scheffler is lurking on Hadwin's shoulder, one off the lead after a five-under-par 67.

Scheffler was slow to get going and made the turn at one-under after taking a six on the par-five fifth hole.

But the two-time Masters champion rattled off four birdies down the stretch to move firmly into contention.

The highlight came on the 18th, when Scheffler drilled a fairway iron from 139 yards to 18 inches from the hole, setting up a tap-in birdie.

"It felt like I hit a lot of quality shots today, it felt like my ball striking was really good, and I was able to hole a few putts as well," Scheffler said. "So overall, pretty pleased with the round."

Four players -- newly crowned PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Sweden's Ludvig Aberg and Canada's Corey Conners -- are a further shot back after shooting four-under 68s.

Schauffele was satisfied with his bogey-free round but says there is room for improvement with the course expected to play harder on Friday with strong winds forecast.

"I'm in a good spot. You just want to be in touch," Schauffele said. "It's only Thursday and plenty of golf to play.

"This course is really hard, and the wind is supposed to blow really hard tomorrow, even more than today, so I know I need to clean it up."

Five players are three off the lead on three under, including defending champion Viktor Hovland and European Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, is among a group of seven players tied for 12th on two under.

McIlroy's round included a wild back nine, where a bogey and a double-bogey on the 11th and 12th holes took him to two over par for the day.

But he conjured four birdies in his final six holes to remain in touch at two under.

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