Martes, 26 Marcha, 2019

8am Round-Up: Sergio Garcia aces iconic 17th at Sawgrass

Masters champion Sergio Garcia made a spectacular hole-in-one at the 17th on the opening day of the Players Championship McGirt grabs early lead at Sawgrass
Montrelle Montesinos | 21 May, 2017, 12:24

American Williamt McGirt and Canadian Mackenzie Hughes are the pacesetters after they shot matching 67s, with Scottish Open champion Alex Noren and Spaniard Jon Rahm in a group one back.

"Yeah, it was very solid, but yeah, to go bogey-free around this place, very hard to do, obviously, and I started the day, I wouldn't have expected a round like that, but I knew my game was trending", Hughes said.

McGirt played in morning and made a pair of eagles on the back nine to atone in his round of 67.

First, he watched Masters champion Sergio Garcia hit a gap wedge that took one big hop, land just behind the cup and disappear for a hole-in-one.

Francesco Molinari, who putted poorly during weekend rounds of 72-75 to finish T24 at the Wells Fargo Championship, shot 69 at THE PLAYERS after switching to TaylorMade's popular Spider Tour Red putter. "It's easy to get yourself out of position here, but for the most part I actually played some solid golf".

"Two good yardages, two good shots and two good putts", he said after becoming the sixth player to record two eagles on the back nine in the same round at The Players. "And from that lie, I had no chance", Spieth said after opening with a 73.

Garcia, 37, said he knew he hit "a good shot", but it could have gone "three yards past" the hole, or done "anything".

Day left last year's Players Championship as a runaway world number one, but he has not won since, so he had reason to feel half pleased with his performance, if not with the rocky finish.

"The feeling was great", Garcia said.

"I wouldn't have expected a round like that, but I knew my game was trending", said the 26-year-old from Ontario, like McGirt, a one-time PGA Tour victor. "There's no answer, honestly; you just kind of see the shot and hit the shot and see the putt and hit the putt".

He told Sky Sports: "It would be nice to be the first in history (to win back-to-back) but it's day one, it's going to be hot tomorrow and play tough the next three days, so I just have to slowly inch my way up the leader board and hopefully be in there Sunday".

Phil Mickelson decided on a novel approach to this year's Players Championship after missing the cut the past four years.

"You know, I felt like I was a little bit up in the clouds, and when I woke up, I was 4-over after 6". "I've already limited the schedule down a lot, obviously all of the travelling we've been doing, and everything that's been going on".

Poulter ended the day three off the pace as Holmes rode his luck and came close to an ace at 17, where he settled for a third birdie on the back nine after parring the first 10 holes.

Spieth arrived to his ball on the par-4 first hole to find it in a bunker with a awful lie.

McIlroy said he took three weeks away from golf after the Masters and around the time of his wedding.

"He's just a good friend of mine".