JASON Day has made a solid start to his title defence during the opening round of the Players Championship, while Adam Scott is one shot off the lead late in his first round.
Despite cooling off after a red-hot start, Australian world No.3 Day signed for a two-under-par 70 at Florida’s famed TPC Sawgrass on Thursday (Friday AEST). The 29-year-old sits three shots back of clubhouse leader William McGirt, who fired a superb 67 to climb to five-under.
American McGirt currently holds a one-shot cushion over JB Holmes and Alex Noren (both 69) at four under with the afternoon wave underway at the $ US10.5m (A$ 14.2m) event.
Earlier, Day teed off the 10th hole in hot Florida conditions, negotiating the notoriously difficult back nine in bogey-free fashion.
Day, who won the Players Championship by four shots last year, soared to five- under through 11 holes at the event considered golf’s unofficial fifth major. But three back-nine birdies cruelled Day’s chances and he joined compatriot Aaron Baddeley (70) at two-under. Baddeley also suffered a late collapse with a triple-bogey 7 at his 16th hole.
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Queensland youngster Cameron Smith, fresh off his maiden US PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic two weeks ago, made a respectable start at his adopted home course, signing for a 71.
A shot back are Victorian native Marc Leishman and Greg Chalmers (73), the two Aussie veterans level with big names Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy at one over. Adam Scott – who won the event in 2004 – held the outright lead at six under before a double bogey at the famous 17th island hole dropped him down the leaderboard.
Watch this year’s Players Championship live on Fox Sports’ dedicated channel, FOX SPORTS More (Channel 507) from 3am Saturday morning or live stream here from 9.30pm Friday AEST.
RD 2 TEE TIMES
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