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New pro Max Moldovan plays as marker in 2024 Memorial Tournament

New pro Max Moldovan plays as marker in 2024 Memorial Tournament

DUBLIN, Ohio — Maxwell Moldovan joined the gravy train Monday. Three days later his first round as a professional golfer was all gravy.

The freshly-minted Ohio State graduate enjoyed a stress-free opening round at the Memorial Tournament Thursday. No pressure. No clenching over a 5-foot downhill putt. No even keeping score. Not officially, anyway.

Moldovan played as a non-competing marker, meaning his score did not count. Markers are used when the field is an uneven number – the Memorial field is 73 – and they keep their playing partner’s scorecard and provide pace for the field.

The 21-year-old went out with Davis Thompson in the first twosome and figured he shot 4 or 5 over. He can’t be sure because he was asked by Thompson’s caddie to pick up on the third hole after he found water off the tee.

Moldovan turned pro on Monday after an impressive college career in which he finished with the lowest scoring average (71.25) in OSU history. He completed his college career last week at the NCAA Championship then played the U.S. Open qualifier Monday at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club.

“Hopefully, this is a step toward being a full competitor in the field, but even the chance to play I’m grateful for,” he said of the Memorial experience.

Moldovan received a phone call from Memorial tournament director Dan Sullivan Saturday asking if he would be interested in being a marker if the field ended up an odd number. It took about a half second to answer yes. The confirmation call came Sunday.

“It was interesting to be out there and be expected to pick up if I was falling behind, because you’re not used to that,” he said. “It was a bit of a weird feeling, but still got to play the first round of the Memorial Tournament.”

Soaking that in was secondary. On Thursday, Moldovan sought to fulfill his role as well as possible.

“My responsibility was for (Thompson) to feel comfortable and feel like he’s playing a normal tournament round, even if I’m not technically in the event,” he explained.

That said, playing without competing felt odd, even with longtime friend Jake Conjerti caddying for him.

“It was like a practice round in the sense of I don’t have to finish the hole and can pick up whenever, but at the same time playing in the Memorial, so I want to score a ball,” he said. “It was a weird vibe out there but it was fun.”

Moldovan will play with Thompson again Friday, but will not be needed to…

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