Holmes, Stanley used birdies at No. 17 to tie for Players lead

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"And then I was going to go out Wednesday and I just thought, 'Gosh, if I walk around in the heat, I'll get exhausted".

After Pat Perez showed the field a low score could be had after he posted a best-of-the-day 66, Garcia made a significant move up the leaderboard after a sparkling run on the back nine, reeling off three straight birdies from the 11th and then holing an eagle putt from the fringe at the long 16th.

McGirt had three birdies on the front nine and eagled both of the par-fives on the back nine to offset two bogeys. - Rory McIlroy made a birdie on the final hole in his second round on Friday to guarantee himself a spot in the weekend at The Players Championship, but he might struggle a bit to get through the final 36 holes.

Garcia added another wild chapter when his 52-degree wedge shot from 123 yards landed six feet shy of the pin, one-hopped inches past the hole and spun back into the cup for an ace. (AP) - The first round of any PGA Tour event reveals little more than the fact three more rounds are left.

"You don't know whether to say "be good", "go" or "sit" because it's such a tricky hole, but it was a pretty good yardage for me to hit a solid 52-degree (wedge) and fortunately it worked out flawless for me and went in".

This is the fifth time McGirt has held the lead or a share of the lead after 18 holes, but he has yet to convert an opening round lead into a victory.

It gets really jammed behind that group.

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Playing his first tournament since his April 9 win at the Masters, Garcia was 4-over par through six holes.

Poulter is looking to make the most of retaining his PGA Tour card after fellow professional Brian Gay alerted officials to a discrepancy in the points structure used for players competing on major medical extensions.

But the rigid qualifications meant they all earned their place in the tournament and the grassy democracy designed by Pete Dye could very well leave some of the lesser-known names hanging around all week.

However, with blustery winds making scoring hard on Saturday, the 2008 champion surged up the leaderboard with a third round of 67 containing six birdies, three bogeys and an eagle. "Obviously there's so much water here and there's no real easy recovery from the water".

Sergio Garcia, right, of Spain, is congratulated on the 17th tee after hitting a hole-in-one during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

"It was an adventurous day, for sure", Holmes said. "It can do anything", Garcia said. "So just working on that, as I said, but the warm weather helps, it doesn't get, it helps it stay a little looser".

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