Thursday, May 7, 2009

17 Again

The world famous 17th hole at the TPC of Sawgrass, known for its island green, is once again the center of attention as the PGA Tour tees off at The Players Championship, held on Pete Dye's Stadium course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Golf Digest)

The leaderboard after the first day of The Players Championship is not what you would expect after 18 holes at an event that many golf fans refer to as the season's fifth major.

Currently, Ben Crane is the leader in the clubhouse, finishing with a 7-under par total of 65, one shot ahead of John Mallinger, Richard S. Johnson and Alexander Cejka, who each shot 66. In fact, the first name that a casual fan would recognize on the leaderboard would be that of Retief Goosen, who carded a 67 to put him within two shots of the lead in a tie for fifth.

Tiger Woods ended his first round with a 1-under 71, and after birdies at three of his first four holes, Phil Mickelson wound up at 2-over through 17 holes. Last year's winner, Sergio Garcia, also shot 71, tying him with Tiger and Vijay Singh, among others, who are at minus-1.

David Toms was the hottest player on the course at one point, with birdies on eight of his first fourteen holes to head to the 6th at 8-under. (He teed off on the back nine first, so No. 10 was his first hole) However, the 2001 PGA champion bogeyed three of his last four to finish with a 67.

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