Day matches course record of 63 for lead at Sawgrass

Jason Day’s opening round at TPC Sawgrass went a lot better than his previous one. Not only did he play 18 strokes better, Day matched the course record with a 9-under 63, giving him a two-stroke lead in the PLAYERS Championship.

In a competition that statistically pulls one of the best fields of the year, the world’s No. 1 player had a simple explanation for his improvement on last year’s 81.

“I’m playing a lot better than I was last year,” he said.

Day gave himself every opportunity to shoot well, putting for birdie on every hole. He was so confident with his putting that he thought he could hole them all. He holed nine birdie putts, and his longest par putt was just 30 inches.

“Tee to green was pretty decent — was actually really good — and then once I got on the green, I felt like I could hole everything,” he said.

The lack of wind at Sawgrass made the course a little more vulnerable than usual. Day’s 63 was only the fifth round of 63 played at the Stadium Course in the 35-year history of the PLAYERS Championship. Day finished the day with a two-stroke lead.

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