Johnson headlines crowded leaderboard at Players Championship but Spieth struggles

A group of six were tied for the lead after the opening round of The Players Championship.

Dustin Johnson is one of six players at the top of the leaderboard after day one.
Dustin Johnson is one of six players at the top of the leaderboard after day one.
Image: Richard Heathcote

DUSTIN JOHNSON MADE the most of good scoring conditions to be in a six-way tie for The Players Championship lead after the first round yesterday.

Johnson, Webb Simpson, Chesson Hadley, Alex Noren, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Cantlay all shot six-under 66s at TPC Sawgrass.

Simpson, Noren and Johnson all exploited the course in the morning as they were at six under before the afternoon rounds even teed off.

Johnson posted a clean card with six birdies and no bogeys and the world number one was pleased with his putting.

“I don’t think I putted very well around here as a whole,” Johnson told reporters after his round.

“That’s one thing I’ve struggled around here with, and today I rolled it nicely.”

Rory McIlroy is tied for 55th on -1 while Tiger Woods’ return to TPC Sawgrass included a 20-foot eagle at the par-five ninth. But he undid a solid display in finding the water off the tee at the last on route to closing bogey and a level par 72.

Jordan Spieth also struggled in posting a shock three-over 75 that included a 12th hole eagle promptly followed by a double-bogey on 13.

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With additional reporting from AFP.

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