US PGA Players Championship - R1

Tommy Fleetwood & Keegan Bradley tied for lead

March 14-17
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Florida
$12,500,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Britain's Tommy Fleetwood fired a seven-under-par 65 to share the lead with American Keegan Bradley after Thursday's opening round of the US PGA Players Championship with Rory McIlroy lurking two adrift.


Fleetwood's bogey-free round at TPC Sawgrass included birdies on six of his last nine holes after starting at the 10th hole at the Ponte Vedra Beach layout.

"If I was going to pick a start, that would be it," Fleetwood said. "I've done a good job of keeping myself in it."

The 28-year-old Englishman was matched in the afternoon wave by 2011 PGA Championship winner Bradley, who had five birdies and an eagle in a nine-hole run.

"It was one of those rounds that just felt easy. It was a day where everything went right," Bradley said. "I just felt really comfortable."

Sharing third on 66 were South Korean An Byeong-hun and American Brian Harman with four-time major winner McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Americans Ryan Moore and Vaughn Taylor on 67.

"I felt like I left a few out there," McIlroy said. "I played well. I'm off to a good start."

Moore aced the par-3 17th hole with its famed island green on the fly, his fifth PGA hole-in-one.

Fleetwood, seventh at last year's Players and third last week at Bay Hill, seeks his first US PGA title after four wins on the European Tour, the most recent of them last year defending a title at Abu Dhabi.

"It's clearly the next step for me to win over here," Fleetwood said. "But it's not easy. I've got to keep plugging away and focusing on myself and hopefully that will come.

"I feel like I've been doing a lot of good things. Sometimes you need to just shoot some low scores. That seems like it's coming. Just try and keep that going."

Fleetwood managed only one birdie on his first nine, that coming at the par-4 12th when he found a greenside bunker off the tee then blasted out two feet from the cup and tapped in the putt.

Fleetwood birdied the first hole from 20 feet and had a two-putt birdie from 60 feet at the par-5 second, then put his approach at the par-4 fifth to three feet to set up another.

A spectacular closing birdie run saw last year's US Open runner-up sink a 15-foot putt at seven, a 28-footer at the par-3 eighth and blast out of a bunker to 17 feet and make another putt at the par-5 ninth to end his day.

"You get on a run like seven, eight and nine and it's a great feel around here," Fleetwood said. "I stayed patient and the wind picked up. The course got tougher but I drove it so well I was always in good position. It's a massive key around here."

Bradley, who also began on the back nine, tapped in birdies at 11 and 12 then took his lone bogey at the par-3 13th, missing a seven-footer for par.

He answered with a 13-foot birdie at 15, a 12-foot eagle putt at the par-5 16th "that was a nice kickstart" and a 12-foot birdie putt at 18.

"Any time you birdie (18) it's like making an eagle," said Bradley, who later added birdies at one and seven.McIlroy on 'journey' -


McIlroy, also a back-nine starter, toured the famed Sawgrass layout bogey-free.

McIlroy made five-foot birdie putts at 11 and 12 and sank a nine-footer on the famed 17th. He blasted out of a bunker to six feet to and birdied the second then hit an eight-footer to birdie the fifth.

"I'm comfortable out there with my attitude and I'm playing well," said McIlroy.

After making changes last year to correct struggles, McIlroy feels on the right track with the Masters, and a chance to complete a Career Grand Slam, just a month away.

"I feel like I've been on a journey for the past six or seven months to get where I can challenge to be the best player in the world and win tournaments like this," McIlroy said. "It's about staying patient."

Former world number one Tiger Woods opened with a 70. The 14-time major winner birdied 16 and 17 but missed a four-footer for par to bogey 18.

"It was tricky out there," Woods said. "Greens got a little bit on the bumpier side toward the end and it became a bit more challenging to make the putts."

American Harris English had an albatross at the par-5 11th, holing out from the fairway from 236 yards on his way to an opening 70.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
T1
Keegan Bradley
USA
-7
65
T1
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-7
65
T3
Brian Harman
USA
-6
66
T3
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-6
66
T5
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-5
67
T5
Ryan Moore
USA
-5
67
T5
Vaughn Taylor
USA
-5
67
T8
Brendan Steele
USA
-4
68
T8
J. T. Poston
USA
-4
68
T8
Kevin Kisner
USA
-4
68
T8
Kyle Stanley
USA
-4
68
T8
Rory Sabbatini
SVK
-4
68
T13
Abraham Ancer
USA
-3
69
T13
Billy Horschel
USA
-3
69
T13
Brandon Harkins
USA
-3
69
T13
Brandt Snedeker
USA
-3
69
T13
Bud Cauley
USA
-3
69
T13
Charles Howell III
USA
-3
69
T13
Denny McCarthy
USA
-3
69
T13
Dustin Johnson
USA
-3
69
T13
Haotong Li
CHN
-3
69
T13
Ian Poulter
ENG
-3
69
T13
Joel Dahmen
USA
-3
69
T13
Jon Rahm
ESP
-3
69
T13
Luke List
USA
-3
69
T13
Matt Kuchar
USA
-3
69
T13
Matt Wallace
ENG
-3
69
T13
Michael Thompson
USA
-3
69
T13
Patrick Reed
USA
-3
69
T13
Scott Langley
USA
-3
69
T13
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-3
69
T13
Tom Hoge
USA
-3
69
T13
Tony Finau
USA
-3
69
T13
Trey Mullinax
USA
-3
69
T35
Adam Scott
AUS
-2
70
T35
Alexander Noren
SWE
-2
70
T35
Beau Hossler
USA
-2
70
T35
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
-2
70
T35
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
-2
70
T35
Harris English
USA
-2
70
T35
Jason Day
AUS
-2
70
T35
Jason Dufner
USA
-2
70
T35
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
-2
70
T35
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-2
70
T35
Nick Watney
USA
-2
70
T35
Russell Knox
SCO
-2
70
T35
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-2
70
T35
Tiger Woods
USA
-2
70
T35
Tyler Duncan
USA
-2
70
T35
Webb Simpson
USA
-2
70
T35
Xander Schauffele
USA
-2
70
T35
Anirban Lahiri
IND
-2
-
T53
Aaron Wise
USA
-1
71
T53
Adam Long
USA
-1
71
T53
Brice Garnett
USA
-1
71
T53
Chez Reavie
USA
-1
71
T53
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-1
71
T53
Jim Furyk
USA
-1
71
T53
Justin Thomas
USA
-1
71
T53
Keith Mitchell
USA
-1
71
T53
Kevin Na
USA
-1
71
T53
Marc Leishman
AUS
-1
71
T53
Martin Kaymer
GER
-1
71
T53
Ollie Schniederjans
USA
-1
71
T53
Patton Kizzire
USA
-1
71
T53
Ryan Blaum
USA
-1
71
T53
Ryan Palmer
USA
-1
71
T53
Scott Stallings
USA
-1
71
T53
Troy Merritt
USA
-1
71
T70
Austin Cook
USA
Par
72
T70
Brooks Koepka
USA
Par
72
T70
Bubba Watson
USA
Par
72
T70
Cameron Smith
AUS
Par
72
T70
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
Par
72
T70
Corey Conners
CAN
Par
72
T70
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
Par
72
T70
Francesco Molinari
ITA
Par
72
T70
Gary Woodland
USA
Par
72
T70
Grayson Murray
USA
Par
72
T70
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
Par
72
T70
Patrick Rodgers
USA
Par
72
T70
Peter Uihlein
USA
Par
72
T70
Richy Werenski
USA
Par
72
T70
Ryan Armour
USA
Par
72
T70
Talor Gooch
USA
Par
72
T86
Alex Cejka
GER
1
73
T86
Andrew Landry
USA
1
73
T86
Branden Grace
RSA
1
73
T86
Bronson Burgoon
USA
1
73
T86
J. B. Holmes
USA
1
73
T86
Jason Kokrak
USA
1
73
T86
Kelly Kraft
USA
1
73
T86
Kevin Streelman
USA
1
73
T86
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
1
73
T86
Martin Trainer
USA
1
73
T86
Nick Taylor
CAN
1
73
T86
Russell Henley
USA
1
73
T86
Shane Lowry
IRL
1
73
T86
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
1
73
T86
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
1
73
T86
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
1
73
T86
Vijay Singh
FIJ
1
73
T86
Zach Johnson
USA
1
73
T104
Chris Kirk
USA
2
74
T104
Dominic Bozzelli
USA
2
74
T104
Harold Varner III
USA
2
74
T104
John Huh
USA
2
74
T104
Justin Rose
ENG
2
74
T104
Michael Kim
KOR
2
74
T104
Phil Mickelson
USA
2
74
T104
Rickie Fowler
USA
2
74
T104
Sam Ryder
USA
2
74
T104
Satoshi Kodaira
JPN
2
74
T104
Scott Piercy
USA
2
74
T104
Seamus Power
IRL
2
74
T104
Ted Potter Jr.
USA
2
74
T104
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
2
74
T118
Aaron Baddeley
AUS
3
75
T118
Brian Stuard
USA
3
75
T118
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
3
75
T118
Charley Hoffman
USA
3
75
T118
Daniel Berger
USA
3
75
T118
Danny Lee
NZL
3
75
T118
Danny Willett
ENG
3
75
T118
Henrik Stenson
SWE
3
75
T118
Jimmy Walker
USA
3
75
T118
Patrick Cantlay
USA
3
75
T118
Sam Saunders
USA
3
75
T118
Scott Brown
USA
3
75
T130
Adam Hadwin
CAN
4
76
T130
Andrew Putnam
USA
4
76
T130
Brian Gay
USA
4
76
T130
Chesson Hadley
USA
4
76
T130
Jordan Spieth
USA
4
76
T130
Kevin Tway
USA
4
76
T130
Lucas Glover
USA
4
76
T130
Martin Laird
SCO
4
76
T138
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
5
77
T138
Stewart Cink
USA
5
77
T140
Cameron Champ
USA
6
78
T140
Paul Casey
ENG
6
78
142
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
12
84
DSQ
Wyndham Clark
USA
Par
80
RET
J. J. Spaun
USA
Par
76
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