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Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele And Wyndham Clark Lead Players Championship After First Round At TPC Sawgrass

Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clark will take a one-shot lead into Friday as Ryan Fox made a hole-in-one on the 17th

Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clark will take a one-shot lead into Friday after a low-scoring first round of the Players Championship.

Soft greens and close to perfect conditions at TPC Sawgrass meant the first round got off to a hot start when it came to scoring, with 75 players shooting under par on Thursday.

One of those was McIlroy, who shrugged off lacklustre form heading into the tournament to card a seven-under 65. He sunk 10 birdies, including six in his first eight holes, but also found the water twice for a bogey and a double.

Schauffele shot a more steady bogey-free 65, while Clark – teeing off later in the afternoon – made it a three-way tie for the lead with eight birdies and just one bogey for his round. Nick Taylor and Matt Fitzpatrick finished a shot behind thanks to strong rounds of 66.

Defending champion and World No.1 Scottie Scheffler, coming off a dominant victory at Bay Hill last week, continued his improvement on the greens to post a five-under 67, alongside Tom Hoge, Jason Day, Ludvig Aberg, Tyler Duncan, Maverick McNealy and Jimmy Stanger (who still had two holes to go before play was suspended due to darkness).

The moment of the day belonged to Ryan Fox when he sunk a hole-in-one at the iconic, island green 17th – becoming just the 14th golfer in Players Championship history to hit an ace on the hole. He finished his round on three under.

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERBOARD

-7 Xander Schauffele (65)
-7 Rory McIlroy (65)
-7 Wyndham Clark (65)
-6 Nick Taylor (66)
-6 Matt Fitzpatrick (66)
-5 Ludvig Aberg (67)
-5 Tom Hoge (67)
-5 Jason Day (67)
-5 Scottie Scheffler (67)
-5 Maverick McNealy (67)
-5 Tyler Duncan (67)
-5 Jimmy Stanger
-4 Taylor Montgomery (68)
-4 Michael Kim (68)
-4 Sepp Straka (68)
-4 Nate Lashley (68)
-4 Max Homa (68)
-4 Mark Hubbard (68)
-4 Matti Schmid (68)
-4 Corey Conners (68)
-4 Chris Kirk (68)

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