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Player: Justin Rose

  • World No. 1 Jason Day dominated the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday, surging to the Day 1 lead at The Players Championship with a course record-tying 9-under 63.

    Day took advantage of friendly scoring conditions, including softer-than-usual greens and a lack of wind, and he carries a two-shot lead into Friday's second round over five players, including Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Cameron Tringale, Bill Haas and Brendan Steele.

    The reigning PGA champion is the fifth player to shoot 63 at the Stadium Course, and he's the third player to do it in the last four years. Roberto Castro opened with 63 in 2013, then Martin Kaymer did en route to a 2014 win. In 1994, Greg Norman also opened The Players with 63, back when the event was played in March, before winning by four shots at 24 under par.

    It could have been even lower. Though Day played flawless golf, with nine birdies and no bogeys, he had an outside shot at 62. Playing the par-5 ninth as his final hole, Day found himself in a greenside bunker blasting out with a chance to set a new course record. He came within 18 inches of making the shot.

    Nevertheless, Day will happily take 63, particularly after shooting 81 here in the second round last year to miss the cut.

    "Yeah, I would have loved to shoot 10 under and be the only guy to hold that record, but I'm in pretty good company with the guys that have shot that, especially with Greg Norman and the way he played shooting 63 and three straight 67s," Day said.

    The first-round result wasn't all that surprising. Day felt it coming, and, after finishing tied for fifth at the weather-shortened Zurich Classic of New Orleans, he said he intended to focus his energy on winning this tournament.

    "I knew that I could -- the way I was feeling, the way I was playing, I knew that I could shoot a good score, especially with how the greens were so receptive today," Day said. "They were really nice, holding on a lot of shots."

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  • The Players Championship is here, marking one of the deepest fields -- if not the deepest field -- of the year.

    The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass again plays host to a full field looking to capture the nearly $1.9 million first-place check out of the $10.5 million purse. 

    Rickie Fowler is the defending champion, having won last year on the fourth playoff hole after playing the last six holes of regulation in a stunning 6 under, then surviving a three-hole aggregate playoff and capping it off with an unprecedented third birdie of the day at the infamous par-3 17th.

    However, the most intriguing grouping for the first two days is certainly the one featuring Jordan Spieth, who is making his first PGA Tour start since his Masters meltdown

    Here's a look at four more of the best groups for the first two days of The Players Championship:

    Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson (THURSDAY: 1:58 p.m. on No. 1/FRIDAY: 8:43 a.m. on No. 10) -- This is a case study in if a player can manage to overpower Pete Dye's masterpiece. It's hard to do, but these long hitters just might go down trying -- or give us the stripe show of the year.

    Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar (THURSDAY: 1:36 p.m. on No. 1/FRIDAY: 8:21 a.m. on No. 10) -- Fowler gets to play for the first two days with a couple of past Players winners. He's had a few letdowns of late in situations that seemed suited for him -- namely falling short in the Phoenix playoff to Hideki Matsuyama and letting Charlotte get away from him last week.

    Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer (THURSDAY: 8:21 a.m. on No. 10/FRIDAY: 1:36 p.m. on No. 1) -- A trio of former champions makes this group interesting. Had Mickelson not made a quad on the 18th at Quail Hollow on Saturday, he maybe wins the Wells Fargo. Stenson, the 2009 winner, is coming off a missed cut in Charlotte. Kaymer is spending the bulk of his 2016 in Europe in a Ryder Cup year.

    Danny Willett, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose (THURSDAY: 8:10 a.m. on No. 10/FRIDAY: 1:25 p.m. on No. 1) -- Willett makes his American return after winning the green jacket at Augusta National. Rose is trying to get back in the winner's circle after a close call at Quail Hollow where he couldn't make a putt that mattered. Snedeker won at Torrey Pines earlier this year, but his record at TPC Sawgrass isn't good.


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  • James Hahn probably didn't see this coming. Having missed his last eight PGA Tour cuts in a row, it's hard to imagine Hahn figured he was going to go from having weekends off since the middle of February to hoisting a second Tour trophy.

    But that's exactly what happened.

    Hahn won the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, defeating Roberto Castro on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with a par. 

    The pair tied at 9-under 279 in regulation, with Hahn, who closed with 2-under 70, three-putting the 72nd hole to cede the solo lead. Castro, who shot 71 in the final round, made a 6-foot par putt after hitting the final green in regulation to force extra holes.

    In the playoff, Castro snap-hooked his tee shot to the 501-yard finishing hole into the water hazard that runs up the left side of the hole. After a drop from the lateral hazard and missing the green with his third shot, Castro got up-and-down for bogey. Hahn, who hit the green with 7-iron after a 300-yard drive, two-putted for the win.

    For Hahn, this is his second PGA Tour win and his second coming by way of playoff. Hahn won the 2015 Northern Trust Open at Riviera in a three-man playoff over Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey.

    Justin Rose finished alone in third at 8 under par, while four players -- Phil Mickelson, defending champion Rory McIlroy, 2012 winner and 54-hole leader Rickie Fowler and Andrew Loupe -- finished tied for fourth at 7 under par.


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  • Rickie Fowler is in position to successfully defend his title as Ultimate Son.

    With a third round of 4-under 68, Fowler leads the Wells Fargo Championship heading into Sunday's final round, sitting at 9-under 207 and one clear of Roberto Castro. Fowler is two clear of former Riviera winner James Hahn and 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose. 

    The Oklahoma State product made his charge to the top of the leaderboard in the final five holes, making three birdies before a pair of pars to finish his round. That run all began with driving the 345-yard 14th hole, leading to a two-putt birdie. He almost reached the par-5 15th in two, leading to a simple up-and-down for birdie. Then on the 16th, Fowler made a 27-foot birdie putt, showing length isn't always the key to his scoring.

    A year ago, Fowler won The Players Championship on Mother's Day, playing the final six holes of regulation in 6 under par, then, after a three-hole playoff, making birdie on the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass for the third time on Sunday to secure the win in the first hole of sudden death.

    If any player on the PGA Tour feels comfortable with a one-shot lead and a tight-knit leaderboard, it might well be Fowler, whose five worldwide professional wins were all either clinched in a playoff or decided by a shot.

    "I'm comfortable playing whether it's out front, behind, whatever it may be," he said. "I've won from all areas now. I'm just looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow. Like I said, with the way it's been going, the game's even going to be better tomorrow and should be fun."

    Fowler is seeking a second win at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, the site of his first PGA Tour victory in 2012. If he's going to do that, he knows he'll have to play from the fairway and maintain his pace on the very fast putting surfaces.

    “It's just tough with the wind. You get down wind, down grain, you can putt it off pretty quickly. It's a fine line,” Fowler said. “You're not going to be able to play this golf course out of the rough tomorrow.”


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • The PGA Tour heads into North Carolina this week, playing the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.

    The home of the 2017 PGA Championship plays host to defending champion Rory McIlroy, a two-time winner here, as well Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and J.B. Holmes. 

    With so much talent assembled the week before The Players, it's hard to nail down favorites for this week. However, here are our top five players for the Wells Fargo Championship:

    1. Rory McIlroy -- Quail Hollow is to Rory what Bay Hill is to Tiger Woods. It's the place he knows he can jumpstart his season. Last year was a runaway. He's also won here from the cut line. He owns the course record.

    2. Phil Mickelson -- Phil Mickelson loves himself some Quail Hollow. He's never won this event, but he's made the cut all 12 times he's played. He's got six top-5 finishes here.

    3. Rickie Fowler -- Fowler finished T-20 in the weather-shortened New Orleans event. He's a past winner here. He's scoring well on most any course he plays.

    4. J.B. Holmes -- Holmes is both playing well of late and has been a winner here, back in 2014.

    5. Henrik Stenson -- Stenson is a bomber with a great track record on par-5 scoring. It's hard not to like him at a place where his distance isn't neutralized.


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  • The PGA Tour rolls into the Big Easy this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Defending champion Justin Rose, world No. 1 Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Smylie Kaufman and Valero Texas Open winner Charley Hoffman headline the field.

    Yahoo Sports will stream PGA Tour Live's featured holes coverage from TPC Louisiana on Thursday and Friday from 3-6 p.m. Eastern on our Golf page, as well the CBS telecast of the weekend action on Saturday and Sunday from 3-6 p.m. Eastern. 

    Here are some of the featured groupings that will come through the the par-4 15th and par-3 17th holes in that coverage window on Thursday and Friday.

    Thursday, First Round

    All times Eastern

    Off No. 1

    1:40 p.m. -- Charley Hoffman, Smylie Kaufman, David Toms
    1:50 p.m. -- Justin Rose, Billy Horschel, K.J. Choi
    2 p.m. -- Robert Garrigus, Roberto Castro, Anirban Lahiri

    Off No. 10

    1:20 p.m. -- Brendon de Jonge, Will Wilcox, Jamie Lovemark
    1:30 p.m. -- Chris Kirk, Brian Harman, Russell Henley
    1:40 p.m. -- James Hahn, Hunter Mahan, Brendon Todd

    Friday, Second Round

    Off No. 1

    1:40 p.m. -- Jason Day, Danny Lee, Steve Stricker
    1:50 p.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane, Jason Bohn
    2 p.m. -- Morgan Hoffmann, D.H. Lee, Byeong-Hun An

    Off No. 1o

    1:50 p.m. -- J.J. Henry, Chesson Hadley, Vijay Singh
    2 p.m. -- Robert Streb, Geoff Ogilvy, Retief Goosen
    2:10 p.m. -- Derek Ernst, Charles Howell III, Chad Collins


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  • It's been quite an April for Smylie Kaufman.

    He had a breakout performance in his first Masters, landing a spot in the final pairing on Sunday at Augusta National alongside defending champion Jordan Spieth. Kaufman had a tough Sunday, shooting 9-over 81 to finish tied for 29th place. 

    He hasn't played on the PGA Tour since that Sunday, and he unwound from the experience with a very public vacation last week in the Bahamas with Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. Kaufman had himself a great time, including impersonating a TV golf commentator, playing shirtless golf in board shorts and being a 24-year-old kid.

    Now it's back to business, and it's in a very friendly place. Kaufman is playing in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in nearby Avondale, La. As a product of Louisiana State University, Kaufman is going to have a partisan gallery all week.

    "This is definitely a home game for me," Kaufman said Wednesday.

    He should expect to hear a lot of college-related affirmation this week.

    "I've only played nine holes here, but it definitely feels like a home game from all the folks so far that have given me support, (and) said 'Go Tigers,'" Kaufman said.

    If Kaufman is to pick up his second PGA Tour win in his rookie season -- after winning in Las Vegas in October -- then he'll have to overcome world No. 1 Jason Day, defending champion Justin Rose and his vacation buddy Fowler.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • The PGA Tour makes its annual stop in the New Orleans area this week, with TPC Louisiana hosting the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Justin Rose is the defending champion here, going deep last year on a wet host course.

    World No. 1 Jason Day headlines this field, which also features Rickie Fowler and Valero Texas Open winner Charley Hoffman.

    Here are our top five players for this week:

    1. Justin Rose -- He's the defending champion and the only guy in the field with more than two top-15s here in the last five years. He has four. He likes this place.

    2. Jason Day -- Day is looking for his third win of the PGA Tour, again on a Pete Dye course, on which he has won two of his four starts. Tied for fourth in 2015.

    3. Charley Hoffman -- I'm probably overrating Charley Hoffman this week after a Texas Open win. However, he was fifth here in 2014. Of course, he's riding high, which could be bad.

    4. Billy Horschel -- The 2013 winner here, Horschel is playing very good golf. He's been knocking on the door for weeks, with another top-five finish at the Texas Open.

    5. Rickie Fowler -- Fowler makes NOLA a consistent part of his schedule, but he rarely plays extremely well here (T-10 in 2012). That said, he won The Players on a Pete Dye track, has been a top-10 machine this year and is rested after his Bahamas vacation.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Heading into the final round of the Masters, Jordan Spieth remains in the same position he has been in for each of the last seven Masters rounds: the lead. 

    However, Spieth's lead is just one shot, and with improved weather expected on Sunday, the 22-year-old can expect a slew of challengers to make a run at Augusta National. Spieth, looking to become the third player in Masters history to successfully defend the title, will play on Sunday with 24-year-old Smylie Kaufman, who got into his first Masters by virtue of a win in last year's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The final pairing starts at 2:45 p.m. Eastern.

    The group going off in front of them by 10 minutes comprises the only other two players under par through 54 holes: 58-year-old, two-time Masters winner Bernhard Langer and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Here are the final round Masters pairings and tee times:

    9:45 a.m. -- Kevin Na
    9:55 a.m. -- Cameron Smith, Romain Langasque (a)
    10:05 a.m. -- Thongchai Jaidee, Ian Poulter
    10:15 a.m. -- Larry Mize, Martin Kaymer
    10:25 a.m. -- Hunter Mahan, Justin Thomas
    10:35 a.m. -- Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson
    10:45 a.m. -- Henrik Stenson, Kevin Streelman
    10:55 a.m. -- Kevin Kisner, Victor Dubuisson
    11:05 a.m. -- Bernd Wiesberger, Troy Merritt
    11:15 a.m. -- Anirban Lahiri, Keegan Bradley
    11:35 a.m. -- Shane Lowry, Patrick Reed
    11:45 a.m. -- Adam Scott, Harris English
    11:55 a.m. -- Davis Love III, Webb Simpson
    12:05 p.m. -- Scott Piercy, Rafa Cabrera-Bello
    12:15 p.m. -- Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Danny Lee
    12:25 p.m. -- Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau (a)
    12:35 p.m. -- Matt Fitzpatrick, Jamie Donaldson
    12:45 p.m. -- Bill Haas, Charley Hoffman
    12:55 p.m. -- Jimmy Walker, Chris Wood
    1:05 p.m. -- Emiliano Grillo, Paul Casey
    1:25 p.m. -- Matt Kuchar, Billy Horschel
    1:35 p.m. -- J.B. Holmes, Louis Oosthuizen
    1:45 p.m. -- Justin Rose, Angel Cabrera
    1:55 p.m. -- Daniel Berger, Rory McIlroy
    2:05 p.m. -- Brandt Snedeker, Soren Kjeldsen
    2:15 p.m. -- Danny Willett, Lee Westwood
    2:25 p.m. -- Jason Day, Dustin Johnson
    2:35 p.m. -- Bernhard Langer, Hideki Matsuyama
    2:45 p.m. -- Jordan Spieth, Smylie Kaufman


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • New year, new Masters, but Jordan Spieth remains in a groove as comfortable as a good recliner.

    Spieth leads after the first round at Augusta National on Thursday, opening with a bogey-free, 6-under 66 that has him two clear of Danny Lee and Shane Lowry. 

    The 22-year-old Texan, who went wire-to-wire to win his first major championship here last year, has held the solo lead for five consecutive Masters rounds. Arnold Palmer went wire-to-wire in 1960, then shared the lead for the first two rounds of the 1961 Masters. That's as close to Spieth's dominant run as has ever been seen at Augusta National. 

    While Spieth remains atop the leaderboard, several of his challengers from a year ago are still in pursuit. Justin Rose, who finished tied for second last year, is tied for fouth place at 3-under along with Masters mainstay Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey and Soren Kjeldsen. Of the eight players right after Spieth on the leaderboard, there's nearly one-third of the likely European Ryder Cup team this fall. (Casey would make the team if he were a European Tour member.)

    Rory McIlroy, who posted a career-best fourth-place finish last year, had gotten it to 4-under before two bogeys in the final three holes to shoot 2-under 70.

    Meanwhile, several pre-tournament favorites got off to solid starts before fading in bewildering fashion.

    World No. 1 Jason Day played a near-perfect first nine, shooting 5-under 31. Day was still at that figure, one behind Spieth, through 14 holes, when he three-putted the par-5 15th for bogey and made a confounding triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 16th. He bogeyed the next hole for good measure to bring him all the way back to even-par 72. That's a popular position for a number of major winners and other attractive pre-tournament names, including three-time champion Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Louis Oosthuizen.

    Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson was 3-under par early in his round, but, like Day, he collapsed quickly. Watson bogeyed the ninth, 11th and 12th holes to fall back to even par. Then, like the Aussie, it was a swift slide: bogeys on 14 and 15, a double bogey on 16 and a bogey on 17 before a fall-padding birdie at the last to finish 3-over.

    Rickie Fowler got off to a bad start – not as bad as Ernie Els' first-hole 9 – with a double-bogey 6. He fought back, though, with three birdies in four holes to get under par. At 1-over on the round, Fowler found the water hazard guarding the green at the par-5 13th, leading to a shoulder-slumping triple bogey. Three holes later, Fowler made double bogey, and that was all she wrote. With 8-over 80, Fowler trails Spieth by 14 shots and has a lot of work to do in expected nasty conditions on Friday afternoon just to play the weekend.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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