DUBLIN, Ohio - Jack Nicklaus always envisioned the Memorial as a northern version of the Masters, from the superb course conditions to super slick greens, from caddies wearing white coveralls to grounds so immaculate that nary a cigarette butt is to be found.
He got his wish Thursday, at least with the greens.
Mathew Goggin spent as little time on them as possible, taking only nine putts in his final nine holes on his way to a 7-under 65 and a one-shot lead against Jerry Kelly and two-time Memorial champion Kenny Perry.
Goggin holed out a bunker shot for birdie on the par-3 fourth, then ended his round with a 12-footer for par from off the green, giving him only 22 putts for his round.
Perry found the right speed and ran off six straight birdies on his way to a 66, also taking 22 putts. Kelly birdied four of his last six holes. Ten other players also managed to break 70 on a day when the average score was 73.7.
Most everyone else hung on for dear life. Shaun Micheel had a 55-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that traveled 35 yards back into the fairway. Boo Weekley watched a wedge land near the hole at the par-5 11th, only to spin back to the front of the green, off the green and into the creek for a triple bogey.
LPGA: Annika Sorenstam's name is everywhere at the Ginn Tribute except near the top of the leaderboard after Thursday's opening round in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Sorenstam's even-par 72 left her seven shots behind co-leaders Karrie Webb and In-Kyung Kim, and tied for 60th at RiverTowne Country Club.
Sophie Gustafson was third at 66. U.S. Open winner Cristie Kerr led a group of seven another stroke back at 67.
LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR: Michelle Wie shot a 4-under 68 in the first round of the Ladies German Open at Munich to share seventh place, four strokes behind leader Nina Reis of Sweden.