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Poulter Sizzles, Woods Fizzles at the Players: A Fan’s Take

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There were a lot of golf fans looking forward to the first day of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. They were looking forward to some great golf on a great course with the best players in the world competing. Ian Poulter certainly did not disappoint the fans. He came out with a sizzling 7-under par 65 to seize the early first round lead. Poulter's day included a spectacular 31 on the back nine.

Just when everyone thought that Poulter would hold the overnight lead, Martin Laird came out in the afternoon and equaled Poulter's 7-under 65. It was a good day for the United Kingdom as Poulter and Laird share the first-round lead by one stroke over Blake Adams. Adams certainly surprised me with his first round performance as his season has been rather lackluster thus far.

While Poulter and Laird sizzled, Tiger Woods fizzled, falling to a 2-over par 74 in his first round. Woods struggled to get anything going and Tiger himself summed up his round as frustrating. One commentator on the Golf Channel said he thought that Woods' problems were strictly mental. I do not know what Woods problems are, if I did I could probably make a large sum of money by helping him get it together. However, it would be ironic if Tiger Woods, once known as the most mentally tough player on tour, is struggling on that long course between his ears. After pummeling opponents into submission with his steely will it seems that Woods may have lost some of the mental magic which propelled him to greatness. Woods will have some work to do in round two just to make the cut. I would not rush out to bet on him not making it though.

Also fizzling in the first round was the pairing of Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson. The trio of top 10 ranked players could not seem to play their best golf. Although Mickelson started with birdies on his first two holes, he could only manage 1-under par 71 which was the best of the group. At one point the microphones caught Mickelson saying that he could not hit a better shot and yet it still could not hold the green. It was just that kind of day as Rory McIlroy finished at even par and Stricker posted 4-over par 76. The trio will need to take advantage of more favorable course conditions expected during the morning of the second round.

Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.

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