05302017

Scott blows chance for Sawgrass lead, Garcia hits hole in one

Adam Scott

Scott finished two under par after scoring a 70

Adam Scott dropped four shots over the last two holes as he blew the chance to take a first-round lead at the Players Championship at Sawgrass in Florida.

On a day several big names struggled, world number 11 Scott had a five on the par-three 17th and a six on the par-four 18th to shoot a two-under 70.

William McGirt and Mackenzie Hughes lead overnight after five-under 67s.

Rory McIlroy and Masters winner Sergio Garcia finished one over, the latter hitting a hole in one on 17.

England’s Justin Rose is one further back, while world number one Dustin Johnson carded a one-under 71 and Luke Donald opened with a 74.

Scott’s fellow Australian Jason Day, the world number three, is two under after scoring a 70.

Analysis

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

Players can go through spells when they cannot avoid being centre of attention.

It seems this is the case for Masters winner Sergio Garcia, who repaired a stumbling start with a hole in one on probably the most iconic par three on the PGA Tour.

That capped an odd opening day in which a string of big names – Jason Day, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler included – handed back promising starts.

Sawgrass represents an exacting test with no margin for error and that remains the case following the latest renovations to the layout.

Rory McIlroy has been troubled with a back problem that hampered his preparations and he will need to shed rust rapidly to have any chance of contending over the weekend.

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