World No. 1 Jason Day tied the course record at TPC Sawgrass, shooting a bogey-free nine-under par 63 in the first round of the Players Championship on Thursday.
Day, the winner of six of his last 16 worldwide starts, leads by two strokes over five players, including Justin Rose.
“The greens were very receptive out there,” said Day. “The temperature was hot, so the ball was going a long way, and when the ball goes a long way, you're coming in with shorter clubs if you hit the fairways. And we thought the greens were sticking and a lot of guys could attack the pins that we had out there."
Rose, ranked 10th in the world, Cameron Tringale, Shane Lowry, Bill Haas and Brendan Steele are all shot seven-under 65s.
Phil Mickelson, winner of the 2007 Players Championship, shot a two-under 70 and is seven shots off the lead. He is tied with Danny Willett, who is playing for the first time since winning the Masters last month.
Rickie Fowler, the defending champion, shot an even-par 72. He was three-under after 12 holes, but bogeyed 14 and double-bogeyed 18 after hitting his second shot into the water.
Jordan Spieth, playing in his first event since the Masters, was unable to stay under par as well, shooting a 72 that included a three-putt double-bogey on his final hole, the ninth.
Rory McIlroy also shot an even-par 72 and is nine strokes off the lead.