Aussies flat when large birds float

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Rory McIlroy ticks off at the famous island hole, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass.

There were eagles, a hole-in-one on the island's hole and there was even an albatross, but there was only a limited joy for the Aussie contingent when The Players Championship started in Florida today.

When the flagship of the American PGA Tour went back to March in 13 years, the TPC Sawgrass course presented a greener and decidedly softer face.

And while it meant more attackable pins for those whose games were on a song, it also offered a longer challenge for those who were not at their best, with a large inequality in scoring and some typically large hole scores from players.

The English Tommy Fleetwood and the American Keegan Bradley both played rounds of seven-under-par 65 to lead through an area of ‚Äč‚ÄčKorean Ben An and American left-handed Brian Harman.

Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy is next to two players in fifth in a share of the fifth, including Americans Vaughan Taylor and Ryan Moore, who fired the ninth ace in the history of players on the famous 17th.

The PERFECT shot in the Island Green. @ Ryanmoorepga & # 39; s HOLE-IN-ONE on 1 ?? 7 ?? must be a candidate for #MustSeeMoments. PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 15, 2019

But among the victims of the notorious island hole was the Australian Marc Leishman, who made a bird with his second ball to score a bogey four and minimize the damage.

Leishman finally signed for a 71 after being buried three times, but gave up two shots and didn't make a birdie which is considered easier after nine years.

He also follows Aussies Jason Day and Adam Scott, the last of which was impressively late with five birdies in his last 10 holes.

Cam Smith made a bird on the hole in the island, but handed it over to the latter to score a 72, while Aaron Baddeley made the par-five ninth with a mess that preceded a disappointing one rear that includes four bogeys on their way to a 75.

American Dustin Johnson looked ominous after he first played the first nine and turned in four, but could only take eight pars and a closing bogey on the ninth to shoot a 69.

But his closest rival in the race to become world number 1, the English Justin Rose, had a wild preliminary round after opening on the 10th and had nine straight pars.

Rose & # 39; s processes include a triple-bogey seven on the first, including taking six shots after his second went to a short-sided bunker less than 10 meters from the pin.

He made three birdies in the front, but remarkably also hit a second shot 55m from the goal on the par-four fifth to cause another double bogey as part of his 74.

American Harris English had an albatross with its 215m second shot at the par-5 11th hole, the third year in a row that the rare bird flew in the tournament

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