Players Championship 2021 Leaderboard: Live Scores and Standings from Thursday

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

Bryson DeChambeau follows his shot on the ninth hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 5, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The 2021 Players Championship is underway at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Play began at 6:45 a.m. ET. Alex Noren, Xinjun Zhang and Doug Ghim teed off from No. 1, while Kyle Stanley, Lucas Glover and Tyler McCumber opened their tournaments on the 10th tee.

Fans looking to following the action can do so on PGATour.com's live leaderboard. Golf Channel's television coverage begins at 12 p.m. ET and runs through 6 p.m. ET.

A lot of eyes will be on Bryson DeChambeau following his victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 27-year-old showed off his incredible power at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, leading the tournament in driving distance (321.3 yards). His longest drive traveled 377 yards as he effectively bypassed the fairway on the par-five sixth hole.


370 yards. 💪😲 The longest drive on the 6th hole since 2003. #QuickHits https://t.co/zkL2jlU8S3

DeChambeau's driving ability may not provide a decisive edge at TPC Sawgrass, though. He tied for 37th in the 2018 Players Championship and finished with a share of 20th the following year. During the 2019 Players Championship, he double-bogeyed No. 18 twice.

The PGA Tour also announced Tuesday it was eliminating any chance for him to take a shortcut to the green on the 18th:

Will Gray @WillGrayGC

The Bryson Effect: Tour announces an internal OB left of the lake this week on 18.

For the first two rounds at least, Bryson DeChambeau will be grouped together with Dustin Johnson.

Johnson's track record in the Players isn't great, posting one top-10 finish in 10 tries. His last outing was a 54th-place finish in the WGC-Workday Championship last month.

Still, the blistering form Johnson enjoyed to close out 2020 illustrated how good he is when he's in a groove.

"Ball position was getting a little too far back, which causes me to hit it both ways," the 36-year-old told reporters of his performance in the WGC-Workday Championship. "It takes a little bit to work on that, but I fixed it and feel pretty good over the driver now."

Jordan Spieth tied for fourth in his first try at the 2014 Players Championship. Since then, he has four missed cuts and a 41st-place showing in 2018.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational was emblematic of Spieth's season. Entering the final round, he was two shots back of tournament leader Lee Westwood. Then unraveled over the last 18 holes, carding a three-over 75.

Spieth is in a featured group alongside Patrick Reed and Jon Rahm. Perhaps the 27-year-old can turn things around in Ponte Vedra Beach, but history would indicate that won't be the case.