Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

THE PLAYERS Championship - First Round

THE PLAYERS Championship - First Round

Anyone who does not qualify for Sunday will receive prize money for their position.

Woods finished tied for 55th at last week's Wells Fargo Championship and is slotted to tee off in a star-studded group on Thursday at The Players Championship, alongside Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. Mickelson has shot a lower round 15 times, Woods 14 times and they have matched scores on three occasions. Woods was best of the bunch with an even-par 72 but that was hardly what the PGA Tour had in mind when it grouped the best two players of their generation with the popular Fowler at TPC Sawgrass. It was nice to turn it completely around there at nine, but I had two par-fives on the back nine and could have played those under par.

He still has some work to do, as the great scoring conditions at TPC Sawgrass have stripped away some of the course's difficulty. "He's feeling better about his health, which has always been a big deal the last four, five, six years". On Thursday, it was poor driving.

Yesterday, Padraig was playing with the following Wilson Staff clubs: FG Tour V6 irons 6-9; an FG Tour V4 iron; a C300 5 iron; a C300 hybrid 17*; FG Tour PMP 48*, 52* and 56* wedges; and the Infinite Southside putter.

Woods then got under the card with a delightful pitch to three feet at the 12th and, although he bogeyed the 15th, he made a good four at the next to return to one under.

"So I love that we're paired together", Mickelson, a five-time major victor, told reporters earnestly.

"This is just part of the job".

"But we have put no responsibility on him to do it".

At least Woods made the cut after shooting 1-under 71 Friday on a course others in the field have been able to attack. His average distance from the pin was almost 39 feet.

"I figured I was probably close", he said. I didn't have much of what I wanted.

Kim, who past year was the youngest victor of the Players, joined legendary Jack Nicklaus as the first player since Nicklaus in 1977 to shoot an equal defending champion low first round of 67. Most fans here got kind of bummed early.

Mickelson followed his 79 with a 73 and finished at 152, 8 over par. Both players are more than likely going to miss the cut.

"I just didn't quite hit a couple of them hard enough", Woods said.

"So far" being the key term there, with Woods on to another early Saturday tee time well off the lead and trying to put all the pieces back together again. In one sense, any rounds are a bonus after back surgery, rehab and his scary DUI arrest previous year. "Hopefully give myself some more looks".

"I felt like I should have shot something in the 60s but I didn't do it".

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