Webb Simpson ties course record at TPC Sawgrass to build big lead

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The Players Championship lost the long-held lustre of being the richest tournament in golf past year after the PGA Tour opted not to increase their prize fund from its 2016 level of $10.5m, while both the US Open and Masters increased their treasure chests to $12m and $11m respectively.

"I've been making a bunch of birdies in the last few weeks and making just as many bogeys and the difference this week is obviously making a lot less bogeys", Schwartzel, who has dropped just one shot in 36 holes, said. I just can't physically do it. Webb Simpson now leads the event on -15.

"It was nice, I made some putts today, that was basically the difference", Woods said.

Double bogey. Not only was that the first blemish of the day on his scorecard, but ended a string of five straight birdies. - Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson delivered plenty of entertainment Thursday at The Players Championship.

"With these greens as soft as they are, I didn't take advantage of the opportunities I had today to really shoot a good number". Thomas is tied for 86th after one round of play, shooting a 1-over par 73 in the first round. In short, he is playing at his best and close to getting into the PGA Tour. When Rickie Fowler won in 2015, we saw him sling a high draw riding on the wind down the 18th fairway and he left himself a mere clip with a wedge for his second. His win in the Wells Fargo Championship last weekend came with a final-round 69 in which he hit the ball poorly but continually scrambled out of trouble. I want to be out here, but it's fun to win.

"So we have basically taken it back wo where it was in 2011, 2010, when I was playing well", he said.

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Chesson Hadley reached 12-under par for the tournament and only had two holes to play.

Simpson found his birdie streak from the 11th hole nearly amusing.

When he tapped in for his par on the 18, Simpson still could boast a share of history, joining the Sawgrass 63 club which also includes Fred Couples, Greg Norman and Day.

"I plunged it in the water", he said of his tee shot on the par-3 17th, leading to a double bogey.

"I think I watched a little bit on TV yesterday when I was having breakfast before I played in the afternoon, and I was surprised at how many shots spun back and how receptive the greens were", said Patrick Cantlay, who is tied for second at 10 under.

It got Simpson, too, and in some ways, in a more painful fashion than if he'd just shanked one into the water (always a possibility with Webb, whose swing lends itself to a good shank now and then.) That NBC had cued up the #59watch in the bottom right of the screen didn't help matters, either. He has two wins here this year, not quite as well, but that's learning how to win.

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