Hearn's comfort level, success continues at Sawgrass

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – David Hearn’s comfort level at TPC Sawgrass continues to grow, and so too does his success rate at The Players Championship.

Hearn grabbed a share of the first-round lead with a 5-under 67 as he eyes his first PGA Tour victory. The Canadian is making his fourth start in this event, where his results have a promising progression: T-68 in 2012, T-26 in 2013 and T-6 a year ago.

“I just enjoy this golf course,” Hearn said. “I feel like when I get on this golf course, it’s a test of patience, and it really tests every shot in your bag.”

Hearn got his round started by rolling in an 18-foot eagle putt on No. 11, then added four birdies against just one bogey. He entered this week with some momentum, having notched a pair of top-25 finishes in his last three starts, highlighted by a season-best T-6 finish at the Zurich Classic.

While his best career result came in a birdie contest at the John Deere Classic, where he lost in a playoff in 2013, Hearn believes his game is best suited for difficult layouts.

“Overall, if you look at my record over the years, I’ve always been good at golf courses that are good challenges,” he said. “This one is right up there as a good test of patience.”