ROBERT ALLENBY shot an almost flawless opening round on the tough TPC Sawgrass course to be joint leader of The Players Championship in Florida.
The Victorian made seven birdies and there was just one late bogey to put him at a six-under-par 66, level pegging with American JB Holmes in ideal conditions.
The two leaders head a group of eight players by one stroke, with Tiger Woods and new arch nemesis Phil Mickelson four strokes behind.
Adam Scott, John Senden, Greg Chalmers and James Nitties are best of the other Australians on two-under 70, with Nick O’Hern on 71, and Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Mathew Goggin and Nathan Green on 72.
“Tee-to-green I played really well,” Allenby said, after using his driver nine times on a course where many prefer a more conservative approach.
His trademark excellent ball striking from the tee allowed him to attack the pins with his irons.
“The two greens I missed I was only a foot off the green,” Allenby continued.
“Overall I’m very happy with the start and looking forward to the next three days.”
Tiger Woods started with a drive into trees and ended with another into a lake, but in between managed to do enough to be equal with Mickelson, who could still take his World No 1 crown come Sunday.