- Vaughn Taylor wasn't among those who lobbied to convince the PGA Tour that The Players Championship should be moved from May to March, but he should have been. England's Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley of the United States share the lead on 65s in the PGA TOUR's flagship event.
Tommy Fleetwood plays his shot from the sixth tee during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course.
Another American, Ryan Moore, made the ninth hole-in-one in tournament history at the famous island-green 17th, where he slam dunked a sand wedge from 120 yards. The Stadium course is a par 72 at almost 7,200 yards.
Rory Mc Ilroy carded a five-under par 67
The Florida showpiece has developed a reputation as golf's unofficial fifth major because it has arguably the deepest field of any worldwide tournament. The victor also gets a sweet five-year PGA Tour exemption - regular event winners get two years. Johnson was T17 past year and comes off a win at the WGC-Mexico Championship a few weeks ago. He has three Top 10s there since 2013 but missed the cut in 2018 following rounds of 71-74.
It is also the first time since 2006 that the Players is being held in March instead of May, heightening worries of adverse weather conditions hampering play on the already-difficult course.
"I had to put the hammer down on 16 and 17 and 18", recalled Woods on Tuesday about his run for the title a year ago.More news: Australia's 2-year ODI losing streak ends in New Delhi
Will Tiger Woods (+2200) play?
Italian Francesco Molinari has also gained momentum coming into the Players after a spectacular putting performance nabbed him the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week. Eventually, Gutkowski gives up the gig and lets the groups play but some of these guys looked like they were ready to fight for their right to play.
Now that the 2019 Players Championship field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising.More news: Cyclone Idai batters Zimbabwe, at least 24 people dead
Woods' game has been very impressive in 2019, especially tee-to-green, with the only question mark being his putting. The 80-time PGA Tour victor has won this tournament twice.
While Rose dropped three shots in one hole, Harris English, an American despite his name, picked up the same number with an albatross at the par-five 11th, where his second shot from 235 yards landed softly a couple of paces in front of the cup and rolled in.More news: Bracketology: Where Louisville stands after wild ACC Tournament