Martin Kaymer shot a course record score of 63 to establish a two shot lead at the top of the leaderboard at The Players Championship after day one.
The German was in fine form, showing a vast array of different shots and barely putting a foot wrong in his nine-under round at Sawgrass - a score that has only ever been achieved by a select few golfers and nobody since 1994.
Kaymer, though, is experienced and although he was naturally delighted with his superb round he wasn’t prepared to get too carried away.
"Only a quarter of the tournament happened today," he said to reporters after the day’s play. “''It's only the first round of a long, long tournament.”
He also offered a fairly simple explanation about what he had done to make his round so successful.
''I stopped thinking,'' Kaymer said. ''I thought a lot the last two years about swing changes ... that every shot I made I reflect on it, what I did wrong, what I did right.
''And then it just clicked a little bit. I thought, 'OK, I know I can hit pretty much every shot when I needed to hit it.'
“If it's a draw, if it's a fade, low or high, I know that I can do it. It's just a matter of getting the confidence on the golf course and then letting it happen and really doing it.''
And he certainly did have the amount of shots required in his repertoire to perform today. Nearly every shot he hit was flawless and, as such, he becomes the first player to ever shoot under 30 on either nine at Sawgrass.
Kaymer carded a score of 29 on the front-nine to write his name into the history books – something he calls a ‘bonus’.
The former world number one was on the top of his game right from the start, showing the sort of form that once elevated him right to the top of the game.
He birdied the opening two holes, before making shots at holes four, six, seven, eight and nine. And the relentlessness of his scoring didn’t stop there, either.
On the back-nine he made a further two birdies – at 11 and 15 – without dropping a shot for the entire round.
It meant that nobody could keep pace with him, although his nearest challenger is the American Russell Henley.
Henley was impressive, going round in seven under par, but if Kaymer maintains this sort of level of performance then it is unlikely that anybody is going to be able to stop him en route to the title.
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