Jordan Spieth already has had an interesting 2017 season and it's only June 1. His last two months alone have included a T-11 at the Masters, two top-five finishes, two missed cuts, two putter changes and more than a couple of questions about the state of his game.
After nearly breaking through last week at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, which would have been his second win of the season, the two-time major champion appears to be just fine. On Thursday at the Memorial Tournament, he shot a six-under 66, putting him one stroke behind leaders David Lingmerth and Jason Dufner.
Spieth, 23, began his day on the back nine, where he got to three-under through six, but gave two strokes back on the difficult par-4 17th and 18th holes. Rather than fade, the world No. 6 caught fire, shooting a bogey-free five-under 31 on the front nine (his back). He capitalized on both par-5s, including the difficult uphill seventh, where he put his 131-yard approach to within 10-feet and holed the birdie. On his final hole of the day, the par-4 ninth, Spieth nearly jarred his 138-yard approach and tapped it in for birdie, sending him into Friday's second round on a high note.
The leaders, meanwhile, each shot seven-under 65s, taking very different approaches to get there. Dufner, 40, was bogey-free until his final hole, the par-4 18th. His round was highlighted by a 247-yard approach shot into the par-5 seventh that left him a seven-foot putt for eagle, which he holed. Lingmerth, whose lone PGA Tour victory came at the 2013 Memorial, had a much more colorful scorecard. The Swede's round featured three bogeys, eight birdies, and an eagle on the par-5 15th.
Alongside Spieth at six-under is Daniel Summerhays, who is in search of his first win on the PGA Tour. Justin Thomas, Sam Saunders and Lucas Glover each shot five-under 67s and are two back.
Jason Day wasn't able to capitalize on his home course, shooting a three-over 75.