Jason Day ties course record to secure first-round lead at Players Championship

Written By Alec Brzezinski
Jason Day
(Getty Images)

TPC Sawgrass retracted its teeth early Thursday, but proved it still has a powerful bite in the afternoon when some of the game's best players struggled during the first round of the Players Championship.

Jason Day led the low-scoring morning wave by tying a course record 9-under 63. Day had nine birdies and zero bogeys as he tore apart the normally challenging Pete Dye design.

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"I would have loved to shoot 10-under and be the only guy to hold that record, but I'm in pretty good company with the guys that have shot that, especially with Greg Norman and the way he played shooting 63 and three straight 67s," Day said, via PGATour.com.

"If I can keep that up, that would be great ... but right now I've just got to try and focus on trying to win this tournament and trying to play a good round two."

The low scoring was unprecedented in the morning, as 17 players shot 5 under or better.

Justin Rose and Bill Haas led a group tied for second at 7 under. Rose had six birdies, an eagle and a bogey on his scorecard. Haas had seven birdies and no bogeys.

Also at 7 under is Northern Irishman Shane Lowry. Lowry shot an even-par 36 on the front none before catching fire on the inward nine by recording five birdies and an eagle.

Lowry became the first player in Players history to shoot a 29 on the back nine.

Despite enduring tougher conditions, Boo Weekley led the afternoon wave by shooting a 6-under 66. Reigning Open Championship winner Zach Johnson and Ryan Palmer fired 5-under 67 proving low scores were out on the course all day.

Jordan Spieth, making his first start since his Masters collapse, finished his round with a messy double-bogey on the par-5 ninth hole, which dropped him back to even-par for the tournament.

Yet, Spieth wasn't the most tragic figure on Thursday. That honor went to 2004 Players champion Adam Scott. The sweet-swinging Aussie stepped onto the 18th tee at 3 under without a bogey on his scorecard. But he plunked two balls in the water to finish with a quadruple-bogey eight to finish at 1 over.

Playing alongside Scott, defending champion Rickie Fowler double-bogeyed 18 to shoot an even-par 72.

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