Day soars with 63 at Sawgrass
Jason Day tied the Sawgrass course record to grab an early two-shot clubhouse lead at the Players Championship.
The Australian's stellar season continued as he posted a flawless nine-under-par 63 in the first round of the year's unofficial fifth major.
With soft greens, low winds and balmy spring temperatures the order of the day, there was no shortage of low scoring on Thursday.
Island in the sun. %u2600%uFE0F pic.twitter.com/HG3IKgWGC7
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 12, 2016
“Everybody is shooting nothing,” said Ernie Els, who opened with a six-under-par 66 but still found himself trailing Day by three shots.
Day's bogey-free, nine-birdie round equaled the course record first set by Fred Couples in 1992, and since matched by Greg Norman, Roberto Castro and Martin Kaymer.
Day hit all but three greens in regulation and averaged 319 yards off the tee. He gave himself one birdie opportunity after the other, and holed most of them, reaching the turn in four under and picking up five more shots on the way home – including a closing birdie at the ninth after this beautiful third shot:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 12, 2016
"Shooting 63 was great today," Day said after his round.
"I can't really recall the last time I hit the ball as well as I did today and then also putting as well as I did. Everything kind of just clicked today and I shot a good score."
The Australian doesn't have the best record at Sawgrass. Last year, he missed the cut after a second-round 81.
"I haven't had the greatest finishes here at The Players Championship," he said earlier in the week. "I feel a lot more prepared this year than I ever have in my career coming into this event. So I'm hoping that is a little bit of a different result this year."
@JDayGolf tying course records, taking names. I'm just over here making lasagna and keeping my small humans alive. %uD83D%uDE02%uD83D%uDC83%uD83C%uDFFC
— Ellie Day (@ellielaneday) May 12, 2016
Day leads by two shots over a host of others in the clubhouse after rounds of 65, including Justin Rose, Shane Lowry and Cameron Tringale.
"There's a lot of guys at 7 under par right now and a lot of guys that are going off the afternoon tee time that can definitely shoot that score as well," he added.
Less fortunate on the day was World No 2 Jordan Spieth.
Playing his first competitive round of golf since his infamous Masters meltdown last month, the American had to settle for a level-par 72. He closed with a double-bogey seven.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.
Matt Fitzpatrick: A Blade with plenty of support who can really cut it
The Sheffield golfer landed his first major – and first professional win in America – at Brookline on Sunday.
Mixed emotions for Rory McIlroy after US Open disappointment
McIlroy finished joint fifth at Brookline.
Golfing world and beyond react to Matt Fitzpatrick’s US Open victory
The 27-year-old held off Will Zalatoris and world number one Scottie Scheffler to win by one stroke at Brookline.