Brits lead at Sawgrass
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 The Players Championship | Round One | 11 May 2012
England’s Ian Poulter and Scot, Martin Laird, lead the way at the end of day one of the Players Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida, the British pair one shot ahead of Blake Adams with another shot back to Kevin Na and Ben Crane.
“I mean, I’ve felt good on the course,” said Poulter referring to his form of late. "Obviously from Bay Hill, playing nicely there was obviously nice after pulling out of a tournament. Played nice at Augusta.
“I didn’t hole putts in China and Korea that I probably should have holed, and probably if I had of done, I would have been in contention. I played really solid today and holed the right putts at the right times. I feel like I’m back to normal and I feel like I’m out there playing the golf I feel I should be playing.
“It was a very, very good round of golf. That’s definitely probably in the Top 10 of the rounds of golf I’ve ever played. To turn around and say, that you’re going to walk off 7 under par a little bit disappointed, but if I look at the chances I had on the front nine, that could have easily been a few more.”
Laird was also delighted with his round and more especially his putting. "Obviously very happy with my round today. You know, going bogey free anywhere is good, but around this golf course it feels extremely satisfying.
“Really the key to my round today was the putter. I putted really well. I had a few par saves that I made, but chipped the ball really well, too, which is really important around here because the greens are so small; if the wind picks up a little bit you’re going to miss some greens. Real solid day, and any time I hit a good shot, I feel like I made the putt for birdie, which is always nice when you have one of those days.”
Former winner, Adam Scott, led the Australians. "I can think of a lot of good reasons why I was struggling here the last few years. But, there are no excuses. But overall my memories of this place are fantastic. I’ve played a lot of good golf here and I feel the course sets up well for me. So I’m confident coming in. My game is in good shape. I’m just trying to keep myself on pace with the leaders.
Scott’s schedule to date has been light but he is happy as to how his game is progressing. "Each week I’ve played, I feel like I’m playing well, and again here. It’s going to happen. I think there’s a lot of golf upcoming; in the next 20 weeks I’m playing quite a lot. At least I’m fresh, and I’ll be working hard the next three days to create that momentum. But overall, I’m very pleased with where my game sits."
Geoff Ogilvy was next best of the Australians with an opening round of 70
Tiger Woods again disappointed with an opening round of 74 to be in 100th position. He will need a round of perhaps 2 under or better tomorrow if he is to have any chance of making the cut.
World numbers one and two Rory McIlory and Luke Donald opened with even par rounds of 72.
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