PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy had their best start ever in The Players Championship.
It still wasn’t enough to catch Roberto Castro, who had never played the TPC Sawgrass and made a debut he won’t soon forget.
Castro hit shots into tap-in range on the famed 17th and 18th holes on his way to a 9-under 63 in perfect scoring conditions in the morning.
He tied the course record held by Fred Couples and Greg Norman, and it gave him a three-shot lead — the largest 18-hole margin in 21 years at Sawgrass — over McIlroy and Zach Johnson.
Woods had to work a little harder in the afternoon, when a breeze arrived and the sun began to make the green firm.
Even so, he was on the cusp of his first bogey-free round in his 16 years at The Players until his 8-iron from 200 yards on No. 18 went just over the green and he flubbed his chip.
The bogey put him in a tie for fourth at 67, which was the first time he has broken 70 in the opening round at Sawgrass.