Poulter, Laird share The Players lead


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Ian Poulter shot 7-under 65 on Thursday to share the lead with Martin Laird after the first round of The Players Championship. 

The Englishman posted his best PGA Tour round this season by three shots, making just one bogey against eight birdies. Laird went low from the middle of the afternoon wave, making his way around the Stadium Course without a bogey.

Blake Adams went off in the first group of the day on the first tee, tying his best score this year with 66 to trail by one shot in third place.

Kevin Na and Ben Crane are tied for fourth place on 5 under.

Na would have shared the lead had he not lost his ball in the canopy of a palm tree near the green of the first hole. The resulting double bogey left him two back of the lead.

Ben Curtis is a part of a pack of nine players tied for sixth at 4 under. He is joined by Michael Thompson, Harrison Frazar, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Stadler, Jhonattan Vegas, Jonathan Byrd, Adam Scott and Bill Haas.

Curtis, who was not in this event until his win at the Valero Texas Open, is continuing a string of hot play since his victory in San Antonio.

Tiger Woods struggled to 2-over 74 on Thursday, making five bogeys against three birdies to leave him beyond the cut line. If Woods misses the cut on Friday, it would mark the first time in his career he has missed the weekend in consecutive starts on the PGA Tour.