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Players Championship 2020 Leaderboard: Live Scores and Standings from Thursday

Martin FennContributor IIMarch 12, 2020

Bryson DeChambeau follows his shot on the first fairway during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 6, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The Players Championship is officially underway at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with some of the best golfers on the PGA Tour gunning for one of the sport's top prizes.

Some of the first groups are out on the course, including the likes of 2018 Players winner Webb Simpson and Tyrrell Hatton, last week's winner at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.

Keep an eye out for the first groups approaching the famous "island green" at No. 17, which becomes one of the best holes in golf come Sunday.

Here is a closer look at the leaderboard as well as a few things to take note of as Round 1 continues.

       

2020 Players Championship 1st-Round Info (All times ET)

Early coverage: PGA Tour Live (subscription)

Live TV coverage: 1-7 p.m. on Golf Channel

      

Leaderboard (as of 10:30 a.m. ET):

Scottie Scheffler -4

Bryson DeChambeau -4

Rory Sabbatini -3

Patrick Reed -3

Hideki Matsuyama -3

Daniel Berger -3

Cameron Champ -3

Keith Mitchell -3

Sepp Straka -2

Michael Thompson -2

Jhonattan Vegas -2

Jimmy Walker -2

Patrick Cantlay -2

Nate Lashley -2

Full leaderboard can be on PGATour.com 

       

Matsuyama's Flying Start

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Hideki Matsuyama came into the tournament in 10th place in the FedEx Cup standings and—aside from a shaky showing at Bay Hill—has played solid golf as of late.

The Japanese placed in a tie for fifth at the Genesis Invitational while finishing tied for sixth at the WGC-Mexico Championship. He also ranks third in strokes gained from tee to green, per the Tour website.

In 2018, Simpson used a fast start to separate himself from the rest of the field and practically waltz his way to a victory. It appears Matsuyama is trying to do the same.

Matsuyama—who started on the back nine as part of the split-tees system—opened his round with birdies in each of his first four holes, almost immediately taking the early lead. He has a knack for the spectacular at times, including a wild hole-out for par last week and doing the same (only for eagle) at Erin Hills during the 2017 U.S. Open en route to finishing tied for second.

The 28-year-old bogeyed the par-five 16th after hitting his second shot in the water, but he still appears to be set up for a good round.

The conditions in Ponte Vedra are fairly amenable to scoring, with little wind in the morning and a fairly cool temperature.

Expect Matsuyama and the rest of the field to look for more birdies as the morning continues.

   

Thomas, Fowler, Spieth Struggling to Build Momentum

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler are the best of friends on the tour. Interestingly enough, they were paired with their other good pal, Jordan Spieth, on Thursday.

However, the Spring Breakers are having a tough time getting anything going early.

Thomas entered the tournament in second place in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning a top finish would likely help him claim the No. 1 spot. However, he began his day at three over and is already seven shots behind the leaders.

Fowler is nowhere close to the top of the standings amid a rocky start to the year, but he does have plenty of experience at Sawgrass, where he won the Players back in 2015 during a wild sudden-death playoff. He is at one-over to start his round, as is Spieth.

All three guys have plenty of experience winning on Tour, and perhaps playing with one another will ease the tension as the round goes along.

But they already have some ground to make up.

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