DUBLIN, Ohio — Jason Dufner putted for birdie on every hole until the last one at the Memorial, a game so under control it looked as simple as breathing.
Even with bogey on the final hole, Dufner shot 7-under 65 for his best score Thursday at Muirfield Village, giving him a tie for the lead with David Lingmerth. They were one shot ahead of Jordan Spieth, whose short game is starting to return with the U.S. Open around the corner.
Lingmerth, whose first PGA Tour win was at the Memorial two years ago, also bogeyed his last hole.
Starting quickly at the Memorial is nothing new for Dufner lately. He opened with 66-67 two years ago before fading on the weekend. Last year, he opened with 68. "I can put a couple of rounds together here," Dufner said. "But I'm looking for more than that this week. Hopefully, we can keep it going for four."
Dustin Johnson and Jason Day want to make sure they get to play four rounds.
Johnson three-putted after putting his tee shot into the water on the par-3 16th and made triple bogey. The world's top-ranked player three-putted from 4 feet on the sixth for double bogey. And he didn't make a single birdie in his round of 78. It was the first time in nearly four years — since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational — that he failed to make a birdie.
Day, who has yet to crack the top 25 here, made bogeys on both par 5s on the back nine and was headed for a big score until he birdied his last two holes for 75.