“Even though I’ve never really had great success her personally, I love coming back, look forward to it every year,” Haas said. “And part of it might be I’ve always known how much my dad liked it and how well he did here. Hopefully, I can continue on the weekend and get a better taste in my mouth on how to play it, as opposed to just liking it.”
Only six players from the morning round managed to break 70, a testament to a course that is dry and fast, especially on the greens. The wind was strong early and showed no sign of letting up, even after a 20-minute delay in the afternoon as storms threatened.
The resurgent Robert Karlsson had a 71 and was five shots behind.
For a short time, it looked as though Woods’ first objective was to stick around for the weekend. Along with not making birdies, he made a mess of the par-5 15th for the second straight day. From the fairway, he pulled his approach well left of the green and chipped through the green, just into a thick collar of round. He chipped out to about 5 feet, and his par putt caught the lip and spun some 8 feet away. Woods wound up three-putting for double bogey from 5 feet.
It could have been worse. Woods made six par putts from the 4-foot to 7-foot range, and he wound up at 1-over 145. When he played the Memorial his first full year on tour in 1997, Woods opened with 72-75 and tied for 67th in a tournament cut short to 54 holes.
“I thought I had a good chance to at least get to even par for my round,” Woods said. “The last hole I ended up making bogey. All in all, it was a hard-fought day, and that’s all I have.”