Zach Johnson has plenty of appeal in a star-studded 'Players'

Dustin Johnson

In perhaps the only quiet corner of a sun-strewn, blisteringly expectant TPC Sawgrass, the young American unequivocally outlined his argument to Telegraph Sport.

"I'm very pleased with the way I'm putting it today", Johnson said. "These final holes are iconic and have made iconic memories", Spieth added.

Harmon said he believes Johnson is getting there again, because he likes being No. 1 and doesn't want to lose the ranking. "I said it Sunday at Wells Fargo, I was anxious about energy this week, and I just kind of ran out at the end".

J.J. Spaun hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation during his first round at the THE PLAYERS Championship, and rebounded from a poor front to deliver a strong finish. Rory McIlroy fared a little better with a 71, but Jordan Spieth shot a three over 75.

"It was actually quieter out there than I thought it would be", McIlroy said.

The Englishman's back nine might have felt prosaic following a fabulous opening, where he started par, birdie, eagle, after holing his second shot from 98 yards to the par four 12th.

Last year's victor Kim Si-woo put himself firmly in contention after a five under 67 left him just one shot adrift of the leaders.

Tiger Woods, playing in the same group as Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson, was one over through three holes after dropping a shot at the third.

"I think it's tomorrow and then in the weekend maybe greens will be more firm and faster". "I haven't had the best record here, but it's a golf course that I like, I enjoy playing and I feel like I should play well here".

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While he wouldn't issue a verdict on the Johnson brothers' execution, Scott said he was more concerned with his own technique. I feel like I played it the same way most of the times I played it, other than I fade the ball instead of draw it now.

"I definitely want to keep the number one title, but I still have three more days of golf, and I'm going to have to play really well if I want to keep the number one spot", the 33-year-old said. "I didn't miss a shot after trying to climb back, so that was frustrating".

"So I think the impressive thing is staying there for as long as he has". So obviously, this week if I play really well, I'll still be number one.

'I need to go and forget all about it, and spend the afternoon with the kids on the beach, ' he said.

Garcia came up short and in the water at the famed 17th hole and barely made his double-bogey putt.

He is 11 over in his last eight rounds at The Players.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka reinjured his left wrist while practicing Wednesday, but he played Thursday and shot a 2-under 70.

Woods recovered well from a poor start but tarnished it by putting his tee shot into the water at the 18th.

Koepka, who only recently returned after being out for months with the injury, hurt it when a maintenance person in a golf cart drove right in front of him in mid-swing while he was hitting balls at the range.

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