THE 2011 The Players Championship, regarded by many as golf’s unofficial fifth major, is underway at the TPC Sawgrass in Florida.
The Players boasts one of the US PGA Tour’s deepest fields of the year, its biggest purse at $A8.9 million, and one of the toughest tests of golf.
With its distinctive island green on the 17th The Players is always a great spectacle.
After the first round America’s Nick Watney leads after a stunning 8-under 64 from Lucas Glover a shot behind.
Watney was one of the course record set by Fred Couples and later equalled by Greg Norman.
The 54 year old Mark O’Meara is a further shot back alone in third place on 6-under.
Robert Allenby, runner-up at the event last year, and Jason Day are the best placed Australians after 3-under rounds of 69 while Aaron Baddeley birdied the 18th, one of the tour’s toughest holes. to finish at 2-under.
Australians Matt Jones (72), Greg Chalmers (73) are still in there with something of a chance but the rest of the Aussie contingent will struggle. That includes Geoff Ogilvy (75), Stuart Appleby (76), Nick O’Hern (76), Michael Sim (76), Adam Scott (76), John Senden (76) and Marc Leishman (81).
Tiger Woods cited knee and Achilles tendon problems when he pulled out after 9 holes.
The Players is receiving extensive television coverage in Australia on Fox Sports.