PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – It was another slow start for the world’s top players this week, with just one of the top 5 in the World Golf Ranking breaking par on a breezy Day 1 in north Florida.
World No. 3 Lee Westwood finished at 1 under, although the Englishman endured an eventful card that featured just six pars.
No. 1 Rory McIlroy finished at even par after hitting into the water at the island-green 17th hole and was tied with No. 2 Luke Donald while No. 5 Hunter Mahan, the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, struggled to a 2-over 74.
The top players started slowly last week at Quail Hollow as well, although McIlroy rallied to force a playoff with Rickie Fowler and D.A. Points.
No. 4 Bubba Watson skipped The Players Championship citing the need to spend more time with his family following his Masters victory.