With ideal scoring conditions, the famed TPC Sawgrass course was remarkably tame in the opening round of The Players Championship.
This all sets up for dynamic second round, and what is likely to be a bit of leaderboard shuffling.
The lightly accomplished Roberto Castro tied the course record with a nine-under 63 to hold a three-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy.
Check out all the tee times for Round 2 and the leaderboard. Then I'll highlight some of the players who deserve extra attention on Friday while also offering up some predictions for the second round.
*all times ET
TPC Sawgrass No. 1
7:15 a.m.: Charles Howell III, James Driscoll, Greg Chalmers
7:26 a.m.: Thorbjorn Olesen, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Martin Flores
7:36 a.m.: Charley Hoffman, Ryan Palmer, Seung-Yul Noh
7:47 a.m.: Jonas Blixt, Marc Leishman, Johnson Wagner
7:57 a.m.: Ben Curtis, Retief Goosen, Davis Love III
8:08 a.m.: Bill Haas, Martin Kaymer, Freddie Jacobson
8:18 a.m.: Ryan Moore, Carl Pettersson, Jason Dufner
8:29 a.m.: Michael Thompson, Chris Kirk, Charl Schwartzel
8:39 a.m.: Martin Laird, Scott Brown, Scott Piercy
8:50 a.m.: Tim Herron, Pat Perez, James Hahn
9:00 a.m.: Greg Owen, David Hearn, Will Claxton
9:11 a.m.: Chris Stroud, David Lynn, Kevin Stadler
TPC Sawgrass No. 10
7:15 a.m.: David Mathis, Joe Daley
7:26 a.m.: Kevin Chappell, Daniel Summerhays
7:36 a.m.: Charlie Wi, Matt Every, Colt Knost
7:47 a.m.: Jonathan Byrd, Y.E. Yang, Stewart Cink
7:57 a.m.: Ted Potter, Jr., Rory Sabbatini, Padraig Harrington
8:08 a.m.: Ian Poulter, Nick Watney, Lee Westwood
8:18 a.m.: Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose
8:29 a.m.: Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, K.J. Choi
8:39 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker
8:50 a.m.: J.J. Henry, Robert Garrigus, Vijay Singh
9:00 a.m.: Sang-Moon Bae, Brian Stuard, Graham DeLaet
9:11 a.m.: Bob Estes, Tom Gillis, Harris English
9:21 a.m. Jeff Overton, Bud Cauley, Brendon de Jong
TPC Sawgrass No. 1
12:25 p.m.: Ken Duke, Luke Guthrie, Branden Grace
12:36 p.m.: Francesco Molinari, Cameron Tringale, Peter Hanson
12:46 p.m.: Jason Bohn, Jimmy Walker, Roberto Castro
12:57 p.m.: Ben Crane, Aaron Baddeley, Jerry Kelly
1:07 p.m.: George McNeill, Kyle Stanley, Brendan Steele
1:18 p.m.: Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk
1:28 p.m.: Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson
1:39 p.m.: Billy Horschel, Dustin Johnson, Ernie Els
1:49 p.m.: Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker
2:00 p.m.: Tommy Gainey, John Huh, Robert Allenby
2:10 p.m.: Boo Weekley, Andres Romero, David Lingmerth
2:21 p.m.: Matt Jones, Brian Davis, Nicholas Thompson
TPC Sawgrass No. 10
12:25 p.m.: Troy Matteson, Josh Teater, Jason Kokrak
12:36 p.m.: Jeff Maggert, William McGirt, Brian Harman
12:46 p.m.: Jason Day, Chad Campbell, Casey Wittenberg
12:57 p.m.: Mark Wilson, Bryce Molder, David Toms
1:07 p.m.: Scott Stallings, Lucas Glover, Justin Leonard
1:18 p.m.: D.A. Points, Kevin Streelman, Tim Clark
1:28 p.m.: Derek Ernst, Louis Oosthuizen, Angel Cabrera
1:39 p.m.: Brian Gay, Russell Henley, Henrik Stenson
1:49 p.m.: John Merrick, Zach Johnson, Geoff Ogilvy
2:00 p.m.: Charlie Beljan, Sean O’Hair, Bo Van Pelt
2:10 p.m.: Dicky Pride, Ricky Barnes, Erik Compton
2:21 p.m.: John Rollins, John Senden, Richard H. Lee
|1||Roberto Castro ||63||-9|
|T2||Rory McIlroy ||66||-6|
|T2||Zach Johnson ||66||-6|
|T4||Tiger Woods ||67||-5|
|T4||Steve Stricker ||67||-5|
|T4||Hunter Mahan ||67||-5|
|T4||Casey Wittenberg ||67||-5|
|T4||Ryan Palmer ||67||-5 |
|T10||Henrik Stenson ||68||-4|
|T10||Padraig Harrington ||68||-4|
Round 2 Players to Watch
Round 2 Tee Time: 12:46 p.m. on No. 1 playing with Jason Bohn and Jimmy Walker
No one took advantage of the day's excellent scoring conditions as well as Roberto Castro. He went out early, and went low. As low as anyone has ever gone on this course.
Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman tweets how remarkable his round was:
Kelly Tilghman @KellyTilghmanGC
Roberto Castro ties course record 63 in opening round of his 1st Players Championship. His longest putt made was less than 10'5/9/2013, 4:15:57 PM
Castro was dialed in with his approach game, and it paid off. It's remarkable he was able to do this in his first attempt at this tournament.
Castro turned pro in 2007, but he has yet to claim his first Tour victory, and he has just one top 10.
He has had some nice showings this year, but he's been inconsistent. In 14 PGA events this year, Castro's highest finish is 16th in Phoenix and he's missed the cut in seven of those events.
It would be a surprise if Castro could keep anything close to this pace rolling. His putting won't allow it. He is 189th in strokes gained putting this year, and he can't keep sticking his approach shots as well as he did on Thursday.
Round 2 Prediction: 73
Round 2 Tee Time: 1:49 p.m. on No. 1 playing with Adam Scott and Steve Stricker
Rory McIlroy is rounding into elite form. He has been making steady gains since a rough start to the year, and he was magnificent in the opening round at a place where he has had no success, and I mean none.
Rory has made three previous trips to the Players Championship, and he's missed the cut in all three.
Golf Channel's Jason Sobel passes along that not all of these troubles may have been golf related:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
Rory McIlroy shoots 66. Never made cut. Once went to Vegas before. Once turned 21. Last year: “Don't have an excuse. Just didn't play well.”5/9/2013, 5:38:35 PM
After firing a six-under 66 on Thursday, it would take an epic second-round collapse for him to not make the cut this trip.
The way Rory has been striking the ball, I don't think we need to worry about that. Leaving his driver in the bag for most of the afternoon, Rory hit 9-of-14 fairways, and he hit 15-of-18 greens in regulation.
When McIlroy was struggling earlier in the year, he wasn't able to control anything. Now he's got that control rounding into form, and he is a force to be reckoned with.
Round 2 Prediction: 69
Round 2 Tee Time: 8:39 a.m. on No. 10 playing with Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker
Tiger Woods hasn't gotten along real well with Sawgrass over the years. Since winning the event in 2001, he's had just one top-10 finish.
He had also never shot an opening round under 70 here. That changed on Thursday when Woods fired a five-under 67.
Like McIlroy, Woods opted to leave the driver in the bag for most of the day, and it paid off for him as he hit 10-of-14 fairways on the day.
Hitting the fairways was really all Woods needed to succeed on this course as the rest of his game has been in superb shape, and even though he hadn't been in action since the Masters, his swing was still grooved.
Check out this approach shot on No. 10:
Could this finally be the tournament we get a real showdown between McIlroy and Woods? I think it will be.
Round 2 Prediction: 68
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