How tough was Muirfield Village playing on Thursday afternoon? Daniel Berger didn’t even shoot par.
While much of the focus was on the red-hot Bryson DeChambeau opening with a one-over 73 at the Memorial, Berger posting the same score was arguably more surprising.
The 27-year-old who won at Colonial in the PGA Tour’s restart last month has been on an absolute tear since before the season was paused at the Players Championship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Following his third career win at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Berger fired four rounds in the 60s at Harbour Town to finish T-3 at the RBC Heritage before skipping the past three events.
That meant his impressive streak of 32 consecutive rounds of par or better was still intact this week when he arrived at the Memorial. But despite birdieing his first three holes on Thursday, Berger wasn’t able to keep it going.
Still two under through 15, he finished double bogey-bogey-par to shoot one over. It was his first over-par round since missing the cut at the Houston Open. In October.
So where does Berger’s run stand in recent history? According to 15th Club’s Justin Ray, there have only been seven longer such streaks since 1983. And Berger was only three rounds away from passing Charles Howell III for the longest such streak of the past 17 years.
But Berger was still a long way from tying the longest streak of shooting par or better on the PGA Tour since 1983: 52. Who holds that mark? Take a wild guess. Yep, Tiger Woods in a span from 2000 to 2001.
The good news for Berger is that a lot of players struggled on Thursday when the field scoring average was 73.92 so he’s still in decent shape at T-42 after Day 1. And he has three more days to keep another personal streak going by finishing in the top 10 for a sixth consecutive tournament.