Golf

Martin Kaymer leads the Players Championship

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Martin Kaymer equaled the course record during day one at the Players Championship as he carded an opening round of 63.

The German hasn't won a tournament for over two years since his last victory at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November in 2011.

But the world number 61 has given himself a great chance to end his barren spell after an impressive nine-under which saw him only need 29 shots to complete his last nine holes, a record at the Florida course.

Kaymer started on the 10th and birdied the 11th and the 16th. But it was after the turn when he turned on the style. He hit back-to-back birdies on holes one and two before another four in a row.

His flawless finish saw him overtake Russell Henley who had led for the majority of the day. Henley had managed six birdies himself on the back nine which set an early target of 61. South Korea's Sang-Moon Bae is a shot further back on six-under.

Kaymer admitted that he is happy with the way he's been playing recently as he hopes to kick on from this brilliant opening round.

"I played a lot better the last four or five weeks," Kaymer told Sky Sports. "I didn't make that many mistakes recently.

"Overall I'm very happy with the way I'm playing golf right now. The ball striking has been a lot better for the past two or three months.

"At the beginning I couldn't make many putts, so I've worked on that a little bit more for the past three or four weeks. That worked out quite nicely today."

Kaymer is only the fourth player to card a 63 on the TPC Sawgrass course. Roberto Castrol did it last year, while Greg Norman (1994) and Fred Couples (1992) and also shot nine-under par. He is also looking to become only the fourth European to win this title since it began in 1974.

But Kaymer wasn't the only player of Europe's successful Ryder Cup team who had an impressive first day.

England pair Lee Westwood and Justin Rose and Spain's Sergio Garica all finished on five under. Four American Jordan Spieth, Scott Stallings, Brian Stuard and Gary Woodland and another Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Graeme McDowell began slowly after carded two bogeys in his first six holes but managed to score a 69 with fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy a shot further back on 70. McIlroy was at five under through 11 holes but struggled on the back nine.

Australian Adam Scott would have overtaken Tiger Woods to become world number one even if he had not played this week. But Scott will need to improve after an opening round of 77 left him at five-over with him needing a top-16 finish.

Another player with a chance of becoming world number one come Sunday night is Henrik Stenson. The Swede needs a top-six finish to pass Woods and scored a 71.

Matt Kucher and Bubba Watson could also both become number one in the world after this tournament and they carded a 71 and 69 respectively.

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Topics:
PGA Tour
Golf

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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