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WeatherThursday: Partly cloudy. High of 72. Wind E 8-12 mph. The first round was suspended due to darkness at 6:32 p.m. ET with 21 players left on the course. Friday: The first round resumed at 7:30 a.m. and was completed at 8:31 a.m. Mostly sunny. High of 73. Wind E 4-8 mph.

First-Round Leaderboard

Sergio Garcia                     65 (-7)

Brian Harman                    67 (-5)

Matthew Fitzpatrick           68 (-4)

Corey Conners                  68 (-4)

Shane Lowry                      68 (-4)

Things to Know

  • 2008 PLAYERS Championship winner Sergio Garcia makes two eagles, holds two-stroke 18-hole lead
  • Garcia also led THE PLAYERS by two strokes after the first round in 2008 before going on to win
  • Garcia cards his tournament-record 25th round in the 60s at THE PLAYERS
  • The players in first place (Garcia) and last place (Henrik Stenson) won THE PLAYERS in back-to-back years (2008, 2009)
  • Brian Harman stands solo-second after a 67 that included four consecutive birdies on Nos. 9-12
  • Defending champion Rory McIlroy records 79, tying the second-highest opening round score of his PGA TOUR career

First-Round Lead Notes

15             First-round leaders/co-leaders to win THE PLAYERS Championship

(most recent: Webb Simpson/2018)

4                First-round leaders/co-leaders to win on TOUR in 2020-21

                  (most recent: Patrick Reed/Farmers Insurance Open)

Sergio Garcia (1st/-7)

StatisticEntering the week
Age41 (January 9, 1980)
Starts at THE PLAYERS20
Top-10s at THE PLAYERS6
Career PGA TOUR starts375
Career PGA TOUR wins11
Career PGA TOUR top-10s106
PGA TOUR starts in 2020-2110
PGA TOUR wins in 2020-211
PGA TOUR top-10s in 2020-211
  • Has one win (2008) and two runner-up finishes (2007, 2015) in 20 prior starts at THE PLAYERS
  • 25th round in the 60s at THE PLAYERS, most in tournament history
  • Recorded eagles at Nos. 16 and 9 (both par 5s); first career round in THE PLAYERS with multiple eagles (77th round) 
  • Third career round on the PGA TOUR with multiple eagles and first since 2012 The Genesis Invitational (2/R4)
  • Lowest opening-round score at THE PLAYERS and first 65 or better in a round at TPC Sawgrass since 2013 (65/R2)
  • 13th 18-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR and second at THE PLAYERS (first: 2008/Won)
  • 2-for-12 to date with the 18-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR (wins: 2008 THE PLAYERS Championship, 2016 AT&T Byron Nelson)
  • First past PLAYERS winner to hold the 18-hole lead/co-lead at the event since Matt Kuchar in 2018
  • Has one win (Sanderson Farms Championship) and six made cuts in 10 starts during the 2020-21 season
  • Entered the week No. 23 in the FedExCup standings and No. 43 in the Official World Golf Ranking

Brian Harman (2nd/-5)

  • Has competed in THE PLAYERS Championship eight times with top finishes of T8 twice (2015, 2019); in two previous top-10s at THE PLAYERS, opened with 71 (2015) and 66 (2019)
  • Carded four consecutive birdies from Nos. 9-12; the birdie streak was one off his career-best on TOUR of five in a row (four times; most recently: R3/2020 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD)
  • With a back-nine 31, matching his career-low nine-hole score at THE PLAYERS (R2/2012/front nine)
  • Highest 18-hole position since 2019 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (2nd)
  • Entered the week No. 75 in the FedExCup standings and No. 95 in the Official World Golf Ranking 
  • Has one top-10 in 13 starts this season (T8/The American Express)
  • Two-time PGA TOUR champion (2014 John Deere Classic, 2017 Wells Fargo Championship)

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Corey Conners (T3/-4) is the only player in the field to eagle the par-4 14th (461 yards); holed out from the fairway from 154 yards
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick (T3/-4) posts his second sub-70 score in 13 rounds at THE PLAYERS (first: 69, R1/2016)
  • Viktor Hovland (T42/E) was assessed a two-stroke penalty under Rule 14.7 for playing a ball from the wrong place; Hovland marked his ball on the green, moved it one putter-head length for another player, and then moved it again in the same direction rather than replacing it (score changed from 2-under 70 to even-par 72)
  • FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau (T6) opens with a 3-under 69, his eighth under-par score in nine rounds at the event;DeChambeau is the only player to win multiple tournaments during the 2020-21 season (U.S. Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard)
  • Reigning FedExCup champion and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson records a 1-over 73 and stands T58; T5 in 2019 marked Johnson’s first top-10 in 11 starts at the event
  • Defending champion Rory McIlroy opens with 7-over 79, tying the second-highest opening round score of his PGA TOUR career (highest: 80/2018 U.S. Open); with a 43 on the back nine, tied the highest opening nine-hole score of his PGA TOUR career (677th round)
  • Byeong Hun An recorded an 11 at the par-3 17th, tying the second-highest score on that hole since the event moved to TPC Sawgrass in 1982; highest: 12, Bob Tway (R3/2005)
  • Kevin Na withdrew after the first round due to a back injury

Course Statistics

Toughest Hole                                          Easiest Hole

R1:        Par-4 18th (4.416)                                     Par-5 16th (4.610)

Scoring Averages                                                       

                  Front 9                     Back 9                       Total                          Cumulative

R1:            36.896                      36.909                      73.805                      –

Bogey-free rounds:

R1 (1): Tom Hoge (69)

Balls in the water at No. 17 (since 2003)