Press Association McIlroy’s play was in sharp contrast to the fine play by Schwartzel at the top of the leaderboard. South African Schwartzel made up for hitting a bogey and double-bogey with 10 birdies, putting him a shot ahead of Scott Piercy. Schwartzel told pgatour.com: “I felt like I played really well, just…sort of ticking the ball over and got it to eight under. I just had a bad one on number eight, made a double (bogey). And that was the very worst I played all day.” He added on Sky Sports 1: “That was one of the best rounds of the year. I hit the ball beautifully. I shot it so well. I gave myself so many chances.” However, it was not such a good day for other high-profile names. World number one Tiger Woods, looking for his sixth victory here, was one of the late starters but he never really got going. The American hit a bogey on the third and his contribution from then on was decidedly mixed with five birdies interspersed with a further three bogeys, including one at the last as he finished with a one-under-par 71. Piercy hit eight birdies – five of them consecutively on the front nine – only to drop shots at the 12th and 18th. A further shot behind were Josh Teater, Russell Henley, Charlie Wi and Kyle Stanley, with Bill Haas and Matt Kuchar tied for seventh. Rory McIlroy’s miserable run of form showed no sign of abating as he shot an opening-round 78 to finish six over par at the Memorial Tournament, while Charl Schwartzel set the pace with a fine seven-under 65 to lead by one in Ohio. The Northern Irishman missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship last week, and here, starting on the back nine, McIlroy had an ideal first hole with a birdie at the par-four 10th, but it was all downhill from there. A double-bogey at the 12th heralded a woeful day, with a further three bogeys racked up before the turn. There was no respite on the front nine as he hit a further three bogeys, interspersed with a birdie at the fifth, before squandering birdies chances at the final two holes.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold continues to rack up silverware after a breakout rookie season, this time being named first-team Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America on Monday.Darnold adds the accolade to his Rose Bowl offensive MVP, Archie Griffin Award and Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honor. He is the second USC signal-caller in history to be named to the team after Todd Marinovich in 1989.During a season that catapulted the 19-year-old into national relevance, Darnold racked up more than 3,000 passing yards to go with 31 touchdowns (and just 9 interceptions). His historic Rose Bowl performance was the cherry on top, as he threw for five scores and accounted for nearly 500 yards of offense. He didn’t throw a single incompletion as he led the fierce Trojan comeback in the fourth quarter.The FWAA also selected head coach Clay Helton as the First Year Co-Coach of the Year alongside Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuentes. Helton’s job security was under scrutiny after USC’s slow start to its 2016 campaign, but a nine-game winning streak to end the season (USC’s longest since 2008-09) put all doubts to rest.Achieving a famous Trojan trifecta for just the 13th time in the program’s history, Helton led his squad to wins over UCLA and Notre Dame this fall in addition to their Rose Bowl victory.Helton also coached his team to wins over both eventual Pac-12 finalists, Colorado and Washington — the latter of which was later selected to the College Football Playoff. In addition to his first-year coaching honors, Helton is a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award, which will be handed out on Wednesday.