No practice round, no problem for Mickelson at Players

New direction of TPC Sawgrass bodes well for fans			Stan Badz  PGA TOUR

New direction of TPC Sawgrass bodes well for fans Stan Badz PGA TOUR

At THE PLAYERS, there was smoke.

"It's very, very hard golf course, but it's really surprising to me that no one has repeated", Day said.

"He's just a good friend of mine".

If you were trying to flavor beef or pork or chicken, it would have been a good thing. It's arguably the most clutch performance in golf history. Everyone on the course is now wearing eau de barbeque, the new fragrance of the week.

Willett is the third player to withdraw because of injury. McGirt took a bit more of a dramatic path to the top of the leaderboard while Hughes was steady and consistent.

"I thought it might go in", Poulter said.

Day finds trouble on the 15th in his opening round at Sawgrass. Player comments from their post-round interviews reflect a range of feelings about TPC Sawgrass. Also, he was looking for a better result than he has had lately. "Historically, just haven't really figured it out on these greens yet and so I'm just not going to think too much about it". Here's hoping he can produce a shot like this again in the next four days! Competitors will be forced to figure out a strategy that will offer them birdie opportunities - and take bogeys out of play.

He is joined on -2 by fellow Australians Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley. He hit wedge to 4 feet for his par.

"It seemed like nothing was going my way", he said. He did make par. Johnson said. "Sergio played great".

Jordan Spieth didn't care for a bad rake job by an unknown caddie in a bunker at the first hole (his 10th). I'd rather just get a nice practice session. The 23-year-old, who is attached to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, earned £4,500 after closing with seven birdies in a 66 as he finished a shot behind Englishman Sam Robertshawe. "People are making a really big deal about this one, but the yardage is pretty conducive to going for it".

Sergio Garcia aced No. 17 Thursday in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

The proposed change, which may take effect within two or three years, received Rory McIlroy's backing.

"It's also the day I was married", said McIlroy, who married Erica Stoll on April 22.

Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee and ProGolfNow's Elizabeth Bethel chose Jon Rahm, and their pick is looking better with Rahm now at 4-under par. It was a large enough gap and the flawless shot for a 6-iron.

Dustin Johnson, ranked No. 1 in the world, shot a respectable 71.

Now, though, the 12th hole will steal some of the headlines. But he rarely had a chance at The Players Championship in the city he calls home. So that means it's a low percentage choice with today's pin position.

"There is not really many question marks going on in my life right now", McIlroy said.

It's just not a go-for-it hole right now. But I didn't hit enough fairways, didn't hit enough greens. "I'm getting a lot more confidence, especially after last week, playing a lot better on the weekend".

Telling reporters this week, "It's my most favourite golf course in the U.S". So for Molinari, it's a safety first, lay-it-up plan.

"It's awesome what a little bit of confidence will do", McGirt said.

No need explaining that to Adam Scott, who won The Players in 2004 and was off to a strong start on a steamy afternoon when he was 6 under and heading to the infamous par-3 17th with its island green. "Now they still have that option of doing that, but you have the option of actually hitting a driver or 3-wood up there as well".

He said he was disappointed not to make birdie at the 12.

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