McGirt and Hughes lead the way at The Players Championship

All the Irish golfers finished over par after round one.

Mackenzie Hughes is the co leader after round one of The Players Championship.
Mackenzie Hughes is the co leader after round one of The Players Championship.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

MACKENZIE HUGHES AND William McGirt fired identical 67s to take the co-lead after the first round of The Players Championship as Sergio Garcia aced No. 17 in his first event since winning the Masters.

Alex Noren, of Sweden, Spain’s Jon Rahm, J.B. Holmes and Chez Reavie shot four-under 68s and are one stroke back at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

“Very pleased. One of those days where I kept out of trouble,” said Hughes, of Canada. “When I missed the greens I did it in the right spots and when I needed a par I was able to do it.”

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Francesco Molinari of Italy head a list of 11 players who shot 69 and are two strokes off the lead.

American Phil Mickelson, defending champion Jason Day of Australia, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott of Australia are among those who shot 70 and are three strokes behind. Day, however, made three bogeys over his last four holes and had to settle for a two-under score.

PGA 2017 - The PLAYERS Championship - Round 1 World number one Dustin Johnson had an up and down day. Source: Debby Wong/PA Images

World number one Dustin Johnson tops a large group at 71 that also includes German Bernhard Langer, who at 59 is the oldest player in the tournament.

“My day is kind of summed up on the first hole when I one-hopped it into the flag and it came off the green and I made bogey,” Johnson said.

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“That’s just kind of how my day went. I could never really get any momentum. I hit some good shots then I would lip-out the putt.”

Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Garcia all shot 73, as did Graeme McDowell.

Shane Lowry is one shot further back on two-over par.

(C) AFP 2017

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