Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama ran off four straight birdies on the back nine for an eight-under-par 64 and shared the lead at the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, on Thursday with rejuvenated
Matsuyama was surprised to make so many birdies. He said he was driving, chipping and putting poorly going into the first round.
"To be honest with you, up until yesterday I was not hitting the ball very well, I was not chipping very well, I was not putting very well," Matsuyama said through a translator. "And I don't know what happened overnight. We just caught magic."
Rookie Cheyenne Woods tied a course record with a nine-under 63 as she took the early lead at the Manulife
The niece of PGA star Tiger Woods shares the record at Whistle Bear Golf Club with Matt Bettencourt and Jon Mills, who both shot 63 at the Canadian
Woods birdied eight holes — including five of the last nine — and had an eagle and one bogey.
Laetitia Beck of Israel and Germany's Sandra Gal were tied at eight-under 64.
South Korea's Sei Young Kim and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist were another stroke back at seven-under 65.
Five players were tied at six-under par 66, including past tournament champion Brittany Lang. Natalie Gleadall of Stratford, Ontario, was the top early Canadian finisher at four-under par 68. She was one of two players that advanced to the Manulife Classic from the Monday qualifier.
Swedish amateur Marcus Kinhult was in a three-way tie for the lead after the opening day of the Nordea
Countryman Jens Dantorp and England's Chris Paisley were with him, one stroke ahead of nine golfers on four under.
The 18-year-old Kinhult sank five birdies on the back nine.
"I just want to keep on playing and hope I'll be able to accelerate. It's just the first of four rounds," he told Swedish news agency TT.