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NEWS: McGirt, Hughes Lead Players

Mackenzie Hughes
Mackenzie Hughes doffs his cap at the 18th hole after claiming a share of the lead in the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course. (Photo Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – In quintessential TPC Sawgrass fashion, the first round of the Players Championship featured both feast and famine, often mere moments apart.

First, the feast: William McGirt eagled Nos. 11 and 16 on the way to a 5-under 67 to make him the first round co-leader along with Canadian Mackenzie Hughes. The two have plenty of challengers behind them as 50 players finished the day under par.

Among other strong performers were Spain’s Jon Rahm and Sweden’s Alex Norén, both going bogey free in their rounds of 4-under 68.

Many top names put themselves in good position heading into Friday. Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson all shot 2-under 70, while Dustin Johnson scratched and clawed his way to 1-under 71.

Not all of the feasting took place by those with scores in the red numbers. Reigning Masters champion Sergio García struggled to 1-over 73 but hit the shot of the day, an ace on the par-3 17th:

But there was also famine. Adam Scott, nearly flawless through 16 holes and leading the tournament at 6 under, dumped his tee shot into the water on No. 17 immediately after García made his ace. Scott made a double bogey and followed it up with another water ball on No. 18, which led to a second consecutive double and sank a sensational round, leaving him at 2-under 70.

Other bouts of famine: Justin Thomas’ club toss on No. 18 after rinsing his second shot, Rory McIlroy’s missed tap-in on No. 10 and Jordan Spieth taking out his phone to snap a picture of a suspect rake job on No. 1. All three shot 1-over 73.

And, as we’ve come to expect, there was carnage at No. 17, where 18 balls now rest at the bottom of the lake.  


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