May 12th, 2016
Jason Day shoots 63 to take Players lead
Ties course record score
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Jason Day proved why he is the world’s number one as he blasted his way to a two-shot lead with a record-tying nine-under-par 63 in Thursday's opening round of the Players Championship TPC Sawgrass.
The course was set up for low scoring as there was no wind, and the greens were soft and receptive, and Jason took full advantage with a total of nine birdies and no dropped shots.
Day became only the fifth player to score a 63 at the event: "I played solid from tee to green and I was very confident with my putter," Day told the Golf Channel after finishing two ahead of Cameron Tringale, Bill Haas and Brendan Steele, Justin Rose and Shane Lowry.
"Just got things going. Unfortunately it didn't go in on eight," when he just missed a 40-foot putt that would have given him a birdie-birdie-birdie finish.
"I really wanted to hole that putt to then try and give myself a birdie on nine to beat the record but I will take tying the course record."
Jason Day joins Fred Couples (1992). Greg Normn (1994), Roberto Castro (2013) and Martin Kaymer (2014), so some pretty good company to be keeping.
Commenting on his round Day said: "It's been a long week because it's been hot and I just felt really tired for some reason. That kind of distracted me from anything else.
The scores here are so low. When you shoot a nine-under-par round, you expect - especially on this course - to have a decent lead. I've got only a two-shot lead and there's a slew of guys that are at seven under and at six and five."
Shane Lowry turned up with his A game again at a big event, shooting a 65. He's constantly performing at the highest level now, and we think the Irish player is going to go on and win a major sooner rather than later.
Justin Rose also continued his good form, shooting 65. Rose stuck with his claw grip and the TaylorMade ARC putter he had been using for the last few weeks, proof that it's the Indian, and not the arrow.
Ernie Els, Francesco Molinari and Hudson Swafford, Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger carded 66s. World number two Jordan Spieth double-bogeyed his final hole for a disappointing 72, while his Master nemesis Danny Willett shot a two under 70 in his first competive round since being handed the green jacket.
Defending champion Rickie Fowler, and world number three Rory McIlroy could also only manage level par 72's. Maybe they got put off by their snazzy new shoes...