Jason Day showed again why he is the number one golfer in the world. On Thursday, Day tied the TPC at Sawgrass course record with a nine-under par 63 to take the lead after the first round of the Players’ Championship.
Under perfect conditions, the 28-year-old Australian started his day on the 10th hole, recording three birdies on his first three holes. He also rolled in an 11-foot putt on the course’s iconic 17th hole and rolled in another on his final hole, the 583-yard, par five ninth.
“I just played solid from tee to green,” said Day. “And when I got on the green, I was very confident with my putter and I just got things going.”
A group of five golfers are tied for second two strokes behind Day including former Georgia Tech star Cameron Tringale.
“I’m very pleased to get off to a good start here, said Tringale. “It’s a great place to start at seven under, make a bunch of birdies and feel confidence for the rest of the week.”
Ireland’s Shane Lowry scored a back nine record 29 on his way to 65, a score also matched by England’s Justin Rose and Americans Bill Haas and Brendan Steele.
Among those tied for seventh at 66 is former Florida State standout Brooks Koepka.
Day has a nine-stroke head start on a number of the pre-tournament favorites. Defending champion Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, 2008 winner Sergio Garcia and pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy all finished at even par 72.
Spieth had five birdies, but recorded four bogeys and a catastrophic double bogey seven on his last hole, the par five ninth.
Perennial crowd favorite Phil Mickelson finished at two-under par 70. He finished in a tie for 41st along with Master’s Champion Danny Willett and 19 others.