Two eagles boost McGirt to early lead at Players Championship

Posted May 12, 2017

"Good numbers at a good time, made a good swing at a good time", McGirt said. You don't need to strictly avoid first timers here, but like we talked about at The Masters, experience does play a pivotal role. You would have The Players in March, the Masters in April the PGA in May, the U.S. Open in June and British Open in July.

Teeing off the 10th hole in hot Florida conditions on Thursday, the Australian world No.3 negotiated TPC Sawgrass' notoriously hard back nine in bogey-free fashion to card a three-under-par score through his first nine holes at the event considered golf's unofficial fifth major.

Day enters The Players trying to prove that his 63-66-73-71, four-round showing around TPC Sawgrass a year ago, was what fans should expect going forward and not his two missed cuts and his tie for 19th in his three previous Players' starts before the victory.

And there is no better event for Garcia to get back in the mix than this one, which has the intensity of a Major and is played on a course that is made for him. I'm 28 years old. Sitting at 7,190 yards, this par 72 course is a "jack of all trades" course forcing players to use the entirety of their swiss army knife to pass it's illustrious tests.

Now he is talking about "rebuilding to try and get back to the top of the world". The only two missing are Belgium's Thomas Pieters and American Brandt Snedeker.

Predicting a victor in The Players is tougher than picking any other tournament. Fowler seemingly couldn't miss, and eventually both Garcia and Kisner missed their putts and Fowler earned his second PGA Tour win of his career.

Johnson leads the PGA Tour in driving distance and greens and regulation, is 23rd in putting and 27th in scrambling.

Johnson makes the task look like Everest.

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"It's pretty special to come back as the defending champion", added Day who recorded the fifth start-to-finish win in tournament history and first since Hal Sutton's wire-to-wire job in 2000.

It's not that dissimilar to a change to the par-5 eighth hole during the redesign of Trump National Doral a few years ago.

"A top-25 [finish] shows you've played well, a top-10 you're nearly there winning the tournament".

Johnson, who had been a runaway favorite at Augusta National last month, said he doesn't play a what-if game about how he might have fared at the Masters - whether he could have won the green jacket, which went to Spain's Sergio Garcia, had he not slipped on stairs and fallen.

World No.2 Rory McIlroy, who has watched "DJ" not only end Australian Jason Day's 47-week reign as world No.1 but build a five-point lead atop the rankings, sees no signs of Johnson slowing down. Just six guys have won it at least twice. Even so, he has never been closer than four shots of the victor.

David Hearn (+41700 & +400) Mackenzie Hughes (+52600 & +550) round out the options.

Lara played the Challenge Tour in Europe past year. Hughes, T31 last week, is playing this tournament for the first time. In Jordan Spieth's first start at TPC Sawgrass, he played 58 holes before making his first bogey. Fowler was the 2015 champion of The Players and he also was second in 2012.

Sports Interaction has some golf group betting among its props. "I want to be able to be looked back on and [people] know that [I] was one of the greats in the game". "I've never had an ungracious player". So, with the upcoming weather that we have, how firm and fast the greens are going to get it should be a tough championship. "I think that the course is open to so many different guys to have a chance to win".