PLAYERS Championship: Tommy Fleetwood fires seven-under 65 to lead –

PLAYERS Championship: Tommy Fleetwood fires seven-under 65 to lead –

First round leaderboard

-7 Tommy Fleetwood, Keegan Bradley

-6 Byeong Hun An, Brian Harman

-5 Rory McIlroy, Vaughn Taylor, Ryan Moore

Day One report

Perhaps inspired by the victory of his good friend Francesco Molinari last week, Fleetwood stormed home in 30 shots after a quiet outward nine – largely thanks to an exceptional display of ball-striking.

He’d made just one birdie over his first nine holes, having started at the 10th, but six from the first saw him post a target which may not be passed.

Bradley was the only man who could match Fleetwood’s efforts, as he hit two birdies and an eagle on Sawgrass’ punishing closing four holes, when starting on the back nine, on his way to joining the Englishman on seven-under.

Byeong Hun An and Brian Harman carded rounds of 66 to sit one back, the former striking the ball superbly and the latter holing putt after putt.

Rory McIlroy had the chance to join them after reaching five-under with only the par-five ninth to play, but a par there saw him shoot 67 on a low-scoring day at Sawgrass.

World number one Dustin Johnson bogeyed the same hole in a frustrating round of 69, while Justin Thomas made a costly error at the sixth in a round of 71 to lie six shots off the early pace.

It was an eventful back nine for Tiger Woods who, after reaching the turn level, carded just one par with five birdies and three bogeys to finish the day on two-under, alongside the likes of Jason Day and Adam Scott.

Ian Poulter had a solid first round as he shot 69 to sit on three-under, and he’s joined by John Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Matt Wallace.

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