Flesch made sure he kept his ball in the lush grass of Muirfield Village, playing his best golf of the year to reach 6 under par through 17 holes when the first round was suspended because of storms in the area. He was in the 18th fairway, typical of his day.
Sean O'Hair made double bogey from a bunker on No. 3, then responded with four birdies on his next six holes. He saved par the next time he was in the sand, birdied the 18th and finished one of his best rounds this year with a 5-under 67.
The large group at 69 included Masters champion Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Fred Couples and Nick Price, most of whom had one thing in common - they could do without the furrows left behind by the gap-tooth rakes being used as an experiment this week.
“I don't like it at all,” Price said. “It's a bit of pot luck, to be honest. You can get in there and have a perfect lie when it lands on top of a groove, then you can have another one that goes in the trough, and you've got no chance.”