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Friday, May 10, 2013

A Busy First Round at THE PLAYERS

Early in the first round of THE PLAYERS we knew it was going to be an unusual day.

It started with Roberto Castro's bogey-free 63 (-9), tying the course record held by Greg Norman and Fred Couples. He hit a ridiculous number of shots within 4 or 5 feet from the hole and actually had a putt to go 10-under on his final hole.

Rory McIlroy has never made the cut at THE PLAYERS before but he calmly shot -6 to put him in a tie for second with Zach Johnson, 3 off the lead. That's promising, to say the least.

Tiger Woods shot -5, his best starting round ever at THE PLAYERS... and he was disappointed at his iron play. (It wasn't that bad, he just expected to put the ball closer on his approach shots.) Still, you've got to like his position. He looks pretty sharp, just like Rory did.

Steve Stricker, 2013's most famous part-time pro, posted a -5 of his own to get into the hunt early.

Adam Scott made his first appearance since his Masters win and, despite some putting problems, posted a -3 to get into a huge group at T17. In fact, quite a few big-name players are in the mix, as well as the typical unexpected young players (like Casey Wittenberg) who seem to be in good form this week.

Even strugglers had moments of glory. Jason Dufner stumbled in at -1, but not before he holed out from 158 yards for eagle on the 18th -- just the 3rd eagle in the history of the tournament. In case you missed it...

So what can we expect today? It looks like the cut will be somewhere around par or +1, meaning a lot of players will need great rounds.

Tiger goes out early, which has thus far been the best time for scoring (the weather hasn't caused the scoring problems -- spiky greens in the afternoon have) while Rory and Castro get late tee times.

All-in-all, it's shaping up to be a very interesting second round.

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