Allenby and Holmes lead at Players
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2010 The Players Championship | Round One | 07 May 2010
Robert Allenby and J.B Holmes have produced opening rounds of 66 to lead a large group of eight players by one shot after day one of the Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.
The day was highlighted by generally low scoring with a massive 86 players under par. The cut appears therefore as if it will fall around 1 under subject to the conditions tomorrow.
Allenby played in the afternoon group today and birdied seven of his first 13 holes before his only bogey came at the par three 8th (his 17th) when he was short with his tee shot and three putted. It was an impressive ball striking round missing only two greens.
“I played well all day, said Allenby. I drove it well. Hit my irons well into the greens. I think I hit 16 greens, and the two greens I actually missed I was still putting because I was only like a foot off the green. So pretty close to eighteen greens.”
“But I putted well, I did everything well today. I was a bit unlucky with my tee shot on 8 where I hit a 3-iron in there. But I just left myself an impossible putt. But look, overall I’m very happy with the way I played.”
When asked why he thought this event has been so good to Australians in the past Allenby said; “I think most Australians are really good ball strikers, and that’s because we grew up playing in the wind, playing on great golf courses, really hard and fast greens.”
“So if you become an average ball striker, you can’t compete on those golf courses because they’re so tough. And I think, you know, that’s why a lot of Australians have done really well here and also done very well in America.”
Allenby will have the chance to capitalise on his fast start with an early tee time tomorrow although his co-leader plays in the afternoon group on day two.
Holmes was bogey free and a strong finishing burst of three birdies in his last five holes has given him his best start in this event by five shots.
Amongst the large group at 5 under and just one behind is lee Westwood who after making a mess of the par five 16th hit his approach at the last to three feet and finished with a birdie and 67.
Tiger Woods made a satisfactory return after his horror back nine in Charlotte last Friday with a round of 70 despite a tee shot in the water at the last.
“I’ve felt like I’ve done some good work this week even though reports are I was hitting all over the lot,” said Woods. “But I was working on a few things. I was very comfortable with what I was working towards, and I was very excited about what was happening. It was just a matter of doing it in competition, and I did it today.”
“I’ve played six competitive rounds in about seven months, so it’s one of those things where it takes time to get into the rhythm of competing and it takes tournaments. And I haven’t had a lot of tournaments under my belt.”
“Most guys have played close to double digit tournaments by now. This is my third.”
Phil Mickelson who could mathematically take Woods’ number one position in the game with a victory this week has also started solidly enough with a round of 70.
Four Australians are also at 2 under and four behind. Previous winner, Adam Scott, John Senden, Greg Chalmers and James Nitties are on that score and have made a solid start. Nick O’Hern is the next best after a round of 71.