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.
Viktor Hovland goes back-to-back in the Bahamas with Hero World Challenge win
The Norwegian held off Scottie Scheffler to win by two shots.
Home favourite Thriston Lawrence survives late scare to win South African Open
The South African beat Clement Sordet by one stroke.
Adrian Meronk wins Australian Open as playing partner Adam Scott misses out
Home favourite Scott held a one-shot lead going into the final round at Victoria GC but Meronk shot 66 to win by five strokes.
Poland’s Adrian Meronk eclipses Adam Scott to win Australian Open
Despite taking the lead into Sunday, Scott was ultimately unable to repel Meronk’s challenge.
Thriston Lawrence and Clement Sordet set for final-day battle at South African Open
Thriston Lawrence leads his playing partner by two shots.
Adam Scott leads Australian Open ahead of Adrian Meronk
Scott moved to 11 under on Saturday, one stroke better than Meronk at the summit.
Adam Scott equals course record to share halfway lead at Australian Open
Scott carded five birdies and an eagle on the 18th at Victoria Golf Club.
Hole-in-one helps Tom McKibbin make strong start in South Africa
The 19-year-old holed out with a five iron from 232 yards on the 11th hole.
A nice birdie-fest – Tiger Woods expecting low scoring Hero World Challenge
Woods withdrew on Monday due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Adam Scott relishing chance to experience a career first at the Australian Open
The tournament sees men, women and golfers with disabilities competing on the same course at the same time.