Skip to content

Chad Ramey shines in first Players Championship appearance, Collin Morikawa gets his swagger back and more from Thursday at TPC Sawgrass

What a day for Chad Ramey.

The one-time PGA Tour winner got off to the perfect start in his first trip to TPC Sawgrass for the Players Championship on Thursday carding eight birdies and no bogeys for an opening round 8-under 65.

He began his day with a circle on No. 1 then added three more to the card before making the turn with a 4-under 32. Ramey made back-to-back birdies twice on the back nine, first at Nos. 10 and 11 then at Nos. 16 and 17. His birdie on the island green was almost a one (23 inches), but a two on the iconic par 3 is always a treat.

“There’s always nerves, but it’s just they don’t mean anything. It kind of means you care,” Ramey said of his nerves after his day was done. “You’ve just got to deal with them. That’s kind of why we play the game. It’s why we’re here is to have those nerves.

“Just kind of push past them, push them aside, and just do what you’ve got to do.”

If he stays in contention over the weekend, it’ll be interesting to see how he handles those nerves down the stretch of the Tour’s flagship event.

The first round was suspended by darkness with 23 players not having finished their first rounds.

If you missed any of the action from Day 1, no worries, we got you covered. Here are some notes from round one of the Players Championship.

Players: Leaderboard | Friday tee times | Photos

Scheffler bests Rahm and McIlroy in group of World Nos. 1-3

Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

What a group for the first two days of the Players.

World Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy were one of the first groups off No. 10 on Thursday morning and each player had a different kind of day.

Scheffler had a boring front nine (Sawgrass’ back nine) as he made nine pars to go out in even-par 36. But then he turned it on with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before dropping a shot at the par-4 5th. Scheffler finished his day with four birdies on the final five holes to post a 4-under 68, four behind Ramey.

Rahm couldn’t get anything going on the greens. He lost more than two strokes to the field with the flat stick and made just two birdies in his first 18 holes. A bogey at the par-3 eighth, his 17th of the day, pushed him back to 1-under. He failed to birdie the par-5 ninth from nine feet and the Spaniard signed for a 71.

There wasn’t an aspect of McIlroy’s game that was clicking Thursday, but nothing let him down more than the putter. He was dead last in SG: Putting of the 72 players to play in the morning wave, losing 2,628 strokes. A double bogey at the par-4 10th (his first of the day) set the tone for his round. McIlroy posted a 4-over 76, his highest opening round in any tournament since the 2021 Masters.

Spieth is outrageous

Jordan Spieth was doing Jordan Spieth things Thursday. Well, he wasn’t hitting the middle of every fairway and green, he was scoring from all over the property — just like all golf fans have been accustomed to watching.

Spieth hit an outrageous bunker shot on the par-5 11th from nearly 40 yards. Not sure another Tour pro hits this closer.

He backed that up on the par-5 16th with a beauty from one of the tiny pot bunkers surrounding the green.

After two closing pars on Nos. 17 and 18, Spieth signed for a 3-under 69. His best-career finish at the Players is fourth (his first appearance at TPC Sawgrass, 2014).

Many of the game’s best are looking up

2023 Players Championship

2023 Players Championship

Jon Rahm plays from the 18th tee during the first round of the 2023 Players Championship. (Photo: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports)

Aside from Collin Morikawa, the top of the leaderboard is lacking big names after the first round. Here’s where several big names stand heading into Friday*.

*All players are outside the top 30

Jon Rahm: 1 under
Patrick Cantlay: Even couple
Rickie Fowler: Even couple
Xander Schauffele: Even couple
Max Homa: Even couple
Tony Finau: 1 over
Justin Thomas: 1 over
Tom Kim: 2 overs
Will Zalatoris: 2 overs
Rory McIlroy: 4 overs
Matt Fitzpatrick: 4 overs

Shot(s) of the day

Hayden Buckley’s ace on 17.

Rory McIlroy finds the green on the par-5 16th from the pine straw (he three-putted for par, but the shot was still sick).

Aaron Wise drained a 65-foot putt.

Friday’s weather forecast

2023 Players Championship

2023 Players Championship

A pin flag at the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

According to, the wind on Friday will hover around 10 MPH with gusts up to 30 MPH. The temperature is expected to reach 78 degrees with a chance of rain.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *