The Players. Two Tied at the Top.

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Two players are tied at the top of the The Players leaderboard after round one at TPC Sawgrass, William McGirt and McKenzie Hughes, share that honor, while Sergio Garcia was in the limelight with an Ace at the dreaded 17th.

A new era for McGirt

William McGirt / getty

William and McKenzie shot first rounds of -5 under par 67 at The Players, to lead the competition by one shot.

Now that William is famous, he finds it harder to hide from the fans;

“I  can’t hide anymore, I’ve gone through the airport a few times and tried to dress down as much as I could and hide. It doesn’t work.”

“But it is nice to be noticed. I mean, obviously if you’re walking around and you’re able to go unnoticed, that means people either have never heard of you or don’t care.”

“So, I would like to think that people actually do care, and they have noticed.”

J.B. Holmes, Alex Noren, Chez Reavie and Jon Rahm are that one shot back at -4 under par, following their opening rounds of 68.

 

Sergio Garcia's electric ace on No. 17 is the Shot of the Day

Shot of the day from Sergio Garcia, an Ace at 17 / getty

Sergio and Rory McIlroy finished in the huge group at +1 over par, with rounds of 73.

Sergio was really pleased with his Ace;

“The feeling was great.”

“”I think I wasn’t quite in the tournament because of everything that’s been going on after the Masters win and media and people congratulating you left, right and center. I felt like I was a little bit up in the clouds, and when I woke up, I was four over after six.”

Rory is still suffering from a sore back;

“My back has got a little bit stiff again. I guess just from obviously building it up and playing through and then not doing anything for three weeks and then coming back last weekend and hitting balls for four or five hours a day.”

“So I think that’s why I’m a little bit rusty, as well. But I think this week it’s just about trying to manage that and get through the week and try to play with what I have.”

The Masters. Charlie Charges Ahead.

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Charlie Hoffman charges ahead in the first round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, in tough windy conditions.

The Master

Charlie Hoffman / Getty

Charlie carded an amazing -7 under par 65 in the first round of The Masters, to lead the field by four shots.

Charlie put his success down to good putting;

“The putts started going in the hole, as simple as that sounds.”

“I hit it pretty solid in the wind, got away with a few shots and then I was able to make those 15-20 footers in the wind which was nice.”

“I just kept hitting my spots and out here with the wind you end up having 20-footers and that’s sort of what you’re looking for. I was able to pour those in coming down the stretch which was nice and then I hit a few real close at the end which is always a good bonus.”

“Obviously going to sleep on the lead at a Major Championship here at Augusta National is not going to be the easiest thing. I look forward to it and I look forward to the challenge the next three days.”

“If you don’t believe in yourself, who’s going to believe in you?”

William McGirt is in second place at -3 under par, with his opening effort of 69;

“Honestly, I was just trying to figure out how to get it to the house without hurting myself.”

“I was not upset to see it blowing. I love it when it plays tough. I’m not the kind of person that’s going to get in a shootout with anybody.”

Lee Westwood holds third place, with a first round -2  under par 70, he also had a good day with the putter;

“I just made a couple of putts on the back nine and hit it a little bit closer.”

“It was just a matter of being patient and not being too frustrated with being three over on the front nine.”

“I didn’t get aggressive on the tenth, I didn’t get too aggressive at 11, just playing into the right spots, did the same at 12 just waiting for something to happen.”

World Number two Rory McIlroy was in the group at even par on the day,  World Number  one Dustin Johnson had to withdraw, due to in injury incurred during the week, when he fell down some stairs;

“It sucks, it’s tough. I want to play. I’m playing probably the best golf of my career, and I look forward to this tournament every year.”

“And to have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon after I got back from the course, it’s tough.”

Defending champion Danny Willett is at +1 over after his opening round 73.

 

Tournament of Champions. Justin Thomas Day Three Leader.

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Justin Thomas is the day 3 leader of the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

FedExCup showdown set for Sunday

Justin Thomas/ getty

Justin shot a third consecutive round of -6 under 67 to have the 54 hole lead in the Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation course, posting -18 under par.

Sunday will be a shoot out between the FedExCup number 1 and 2, with Hideki Matsuyama just two shots back at -16 under par. He carded -7 under par 66 to move into contention, and has been the hottest player on tour lately.

Justin was happy to be paired with Hideki;

“If I’m near Hideki in the tournament, that’s usually, probably a pretty good thing on Sunday.”

“He’s obviously a tremendous player and he’s on an unbelievable run here the last five events.”

The last time the pair met on a Sunday Justin took the honors, Hideki knows he will have to go low to win;

“Justin doesn’t have any weaknesses at all in his game.”

“He hits it long, has a marvelous short game, putts well, hits the ball well.”

“We’ve got to go low tomorrow to be able to catch him.”

Two strokes further back, at -14 under par are Ryan Moore, -2 under 71 today, Jimmy Walker, -3 under 70, and William McGirt who carded -7 under par 66.

William is putting well, needing only 28 putts in the third round;

“I’ve hit it really well this week. Finally made some putts today. I struggled sort of the first couple days with the grain in these greens.”

“I think yesterday, I could have putted better blindfolded. It was ugly up until the very end.”

“It seems like all the greens and grain, once it starts breaking and starts losing speed, that it really goes at that point.”

“You’ve got to really keep the pace up on it.”

“That’s not the way I like to putt. I like to die putts in there, but you kind of have to change your approach this week and kind of bang them in.”

Jimmy Walker has not putted well;

“Just didn’t make the putts I needed to make. Hit it really good. Plenty of looks. Nothing went in. That’s just kind of frustrating, especially the finish.”

“Speed was a little off. Keeps coming up short a little bit. I feel like it may have slowed down a little but that’s just me.”

“I’m hitting the putts the way I feel like I need to hit them. They are just not going in.”

 Also struggling with putting is World number 1 Jason Day, currently T 8 at -11 under par, he carded – 3 under 70 today;

“It’s everything; I’m struggling to really start my ball on the line I’m picking.”

“It’s very difficult to know where I’m aiming and it’s difficult to hole putts.”

 

 

 

 

WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Jason Has Daylight at the Top.

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Jason Day has daylight between himself and the field at the opp WGC Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard at Firestone Country Club, in Ohio.WGC Bridgestone Invitational

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Day

 Jason carded a -1 under par 69 second round at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational to lead at the half-way stage with a -4 under par total.

Jason was faced with a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the final hole, and when his putter bumped up against the collar on the way back, he stroked it too hard, and then to compound the error missed the 6-foot par putt on the way back, making a bogey five. But overall his putting was good;

“I was very cross with myself when I was walking off.”

 “The great thing is that once I do silly things like that on 18, I soon forget about it, and I just need to start focusing on tomorrow’s round.”

“I think over the next two days it’s going to be very difficult for everyone.”

“I would love to be able to give myself more opportunities, and if I can do that, hopefully I’m holding the trophy at the end of the week.”

“The mentality won’t change with regards to how tight it is. I’ve just got to try and get it done. Even if I don’t have my best stuff, just find a way to get it done.”

David Lingmerth holds second place, a -3 under par 67 equaled the low round off the day. He is now just one shot back at -3 under par for the tournament.

First round leader William McGirt shares third place at -2 under par, a horrible second round +4 over par destroying his three shot overnight lead. Emiliano Grillo, +1 over 71 and Scott Piercy -1 under 69 today are also at -2 under for the tournament.

William blamed the wind; don’t we all;

“Trying to figure out the wind was impossible.”

 “It was a lot of down off the left with a touch of in off the right. I mean, who knows?”

Justin Thomas hit the longest drive of the day 414 yards at the par five 16th, with a  nasty lie left for his second he kind of chunked it, it hit the pin and fell in for Eagle;

“I can’t hit another drive that hard.”

Justin, -1 under 69 today, is tied with Jordan Spieth,+1 over 71, Kevin Kisner, even par 70, and Adam Scott -2 under 68, all at -1 under par in sixth place.

Jordan, following criticism for his slow play, is starting to pick up the pace;

“The quicker part actually helps me because then I just get up there and fire away.”

“The more I can do that, actually I think the better off ; kind of gun slinging mentality, just to go up and hit the way I always have played.”

WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

 

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William McGirt leads the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.

McGirt starts fast at Firestone

William McGirt / getty image

William shot a first round -6 under par 64 to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by three strokes at the end of the day. He likes the fact that it does not suit the longer players off the tee;

“I fell in love with the place because length is not everything out here.”

 “You have to drive it in the fairway. You have to drive it in the correct spots in the fairways to be able to attack pins.”

“I love it because you can’t stand up there and just hit it as hard as you want, go find it and hack it on the green.”

“It’s an old, traditional-style golf course, which I absolutely love. I don’t know, maybe it’s something with Ohio I like.”

“Now that I’ve won once, I want to win twice, and I want to win three times.”

“Big thing is to go ahead and get four wins so I can play PGA TOUR Champions when I turn 50.”

Three players share second place at -3 under par after their opening rounds of 67, World number one Jason Day is there along with Jimmy Walker and Emiliano Grillo.

Jason summed up his day;

“It was just kind of a weird feeling of a day where I kind of made some good pars, kept the momentum going and all of a sudden I shot 67.”

 “I’ve just got to keep grinding until Sunday is over.”

Jordan Spieth, Anirban Lahiri, Rickie Fowler and Charley Hoffman are at -2 under par, all with rounds of 68.

Jordan thanked his putter for the  Birdies on the final four holes, and for sinking par puts from 20 and 25 feet;

“This is one of the best rounds; one of the happiest I’ve;  one of the happiest two unders I’ve ever shot for sure.”

 “I wasn’t supposed to shoot two under today. I kind of wish we kept on playing, even though I felt so kind of poor most of the round.”

“I’m really just searching for something that isn’t far off, that’s real simple, that feels like I’m more compact in my swing that allows me to time it better at the bottom.”

“Again, it really is only taking place on my scoring clubs, but that’s where you need them.”

“It’s close. It’s almost there, and when it clicks, we’re definitely in business right now the way the short game is on.”

 

 

 

 

Memorial Tournament. Maiden Win for William McGirt.

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William McGirt won the Memorial Tournament, his maiden Tour win, in a playoff against Jon Curran, at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Memorial Tournament

William McGirt & Jack Nicklaus / getty images

 

William, -1 under par 71 today, and Jon, -2 under 70,  both finished the Memorial Tournament with -15 under par totals, and headed back to the 18th for a sudden death play-off. William won at the second extra hole with a par, after they had both cleared the green with their approach shots. William hit the better return and holed his putt to win his maiden PGA Tour title.

Dustin Johnson was in third place at -14 under par, a -1 under 71 today could have been so much better with a decent putting performance.

Four players tied in fourth place at -13 under par, Rory McIlroy, -4 under 68 today, J.B. Holmes, -3 under 69, Gary Woodland, +1 over 73 and Matt Kuchar, lo +1 over 73.

Rory is in good shape for the U.S. Open, he has been watching video’s of the Oakmont Country Club course, he has never played there before;

“I mean, it looks like an awesome course. It looks unbelievably hard, and it will reward very good ballstriking.”

 “It’s going to be tough.”

Jason Day +2 over 74 today finished at -9 under par, while Jordan Spieth was way back T57 at -3 under for the tournament, Jordan had this to say;

“Didn’t have my best stuff this week, but just kind of didn’t make great decisions when I needed to give respect to the golf course, and that’s something I’m certainly going to have to do at Oakmont.”

“So I recognize that. We’re still running on momentum. Got to get some fresh legs and get ready to go.”

RBC Heritage. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.

Matt Kuchar carded his 19th round in the 60s this season. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

One of the three, Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Matt Kuchar, Scott Langley and William McGirt all posted rounds of -5 under par 66 to share the first round lead at the RBC Heritage.

Matt  birdied both the par five holes on the front nine before finishing with a birdie on his final hole, the ninth. He thinks a lot of the players coming from the Masters will play well here;

” It was some awfully steady golf. You’re going to see a lot of guys, if they’re not too run down from a major championship, come out and play some pretty good golf the week following.”

Scott was inspired by the performance of Jordan Spieth at the Masters;

“Seeing Jordan do so well, almost win the Masters, inspired me a little bit.”

William McGirt was catching the good vibes from Scott;

“Scott and I were both making birdies left and right, it was easy to feed off each other.”

Harris English is alone in fourth spot at -3 under par, just two shots off the lead. There are a whole host of players at -2 under par, 15 of them in total. Fresh from his exploits at the Masters was Jordan Spieth, he was among those guys on -2 under par for the day, and was paired with the U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain, Tom Watson and 2012 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III.Both of these guys have been winners here, and Tom wanted to take a close look at the way the young man played, so Jordan could find his name on the team sheet;

“It was unbelievable just to be playing with them. I was anxious to get back out and play another competitive round, so today was going to be kind of therapy, in a sense, from last week.”

If Nick Faldo does not pull his socks up he will find himself back in the TV booth pretty quickly. Nick stuttered to an opening round of +6 over par 77. This the course where Nick won his first ever U.S. PGA Tour title, in 1984.