Home » Sport » Player 2020 Live Blog: Rory McIlroy’s title defense underway at TPC Sawgrass

Player 2020 Live Blog: Rory McIlroy’s title defense underway at TPC Sawgrass

In these uncertain times, a few hours after the NBA suspended its season, the NCAA has banned fans from March Madness games and other major sporting events by canceling events in response to the coronavirus, the PGA Tour is continuing with the its flagship event. (2020 players: scroll down for the latest updates)

The PGA Tour made a statement after midnight (Eastern time) on the eve of the Players, a few hours before the game’s expected start, saying it would continue to monitor the situation and give another update around Thursday midday.

The players it is the main event of the tour and with the organization that took some preventive measures before the tournament, the PGA Tour considered it safe to conduct its tournament with the fans present, unlike most of the basketball tournaments of the NCAA conference which take place on Thursday, which will happen without a crowd. The tour is give fans the opportunity to request a refund instead of attending the event if they wish. Golf is obviously a slightly different outdoor sport, but it was a surprise to some that the tour is playing with fans today. Here is the tour statement:

“The PGA Tour is aware of the rapidly evolving developments concerning COVID-19. With the information currently available, the players’ championship will continue as planned, although we will continue to review the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and local health administrations. This is obviously a very fluid situation that requires constant revision, communication and transparency and we are dedicated to all three aspects. “

The latest: the tour has announced that it will continue playing its events for the next two weeks, but will not allow fans on the spot. Here is the full story, which reports from the site.


16:10.: Rory’s chip at ninth par-5 passes through the green and into the bunker. From the beach, McIlroy makes an elegant shot, but will have a meter and eighty for a. two-over 38.

4:00 pm.: The young cannon triumvirate from Hovland, Wolff and Morikawa is in trouble in the top nine at Sawgrass. Hovland and Morikawa are two below while Wolff is tied.

15:45: TPC Sawgrass is angry this afternoon, my friends. Matt Jones is the only player who makes a push (four under 11) the rest of the field stuck in neutral.

15:25.: Jon Rahm remains constant, equal to his round. Si Woo Kim also got off to a great start, three to five.

15:19.: A spark for Rory, who trains a 30 feet sixth for her first bird of the day. And after following the two, Koepka gets one with a bird even on the sixth.

15:15: For what it’s worth, the crowds seem to thin out on television, at least at 5pm. Part of this could be the coronavirus updates, some of which are marked by Rory and Brooks on the front.

15:03: McIlroy converts a wobbly six foot to save par. There aren’t many low rounds at the moment – Matt Jones has three or less eight – but Sawgrass is starting to bark.

14:55: Rory McIlroy had a slow start, one out of four holes, and although his approach finds the green on fifth, he will have a long way home for a two putt par.

14:49: Jon Rahm throws a birdie on the fourth hole par 4 after hitting an excellent approach shot from the fairway bunker to return to par. Brooks Koepka got an even better approach, and got some reading from Rahm’s putt, but he didn’t make his offer of birdies. Koepka has looked out at the start of his round, and remains 1-over. It’s the same issue as Rory McIlroy. I’m 10 behind Hideki Matsuyama as it is now.

14:46: We are seeing most of the low rounds so far from the morning wave, but there are some hot starts for the player rounds in the afternoon wave. The lowest so far is the young stallion Viktor Hovland, who won the Puerto Rico Open a few weeks ago. Hovland is 3-under through its first 5 holes. Martin Laird (through 6 holes) and Matt Jones (through 7 holes) are also part of that number. There are a lot of 2-under players from the afternoon wave, but other than that, he is now playing a bit more difficult.

14:29: Christiaan Bezuidenhout puts together the second best morning wave round, going up and down on the 18th hole to get a 7 under 65 to open his first player championship. The South African stole one of the most consistent last two months; winning the Dimension Data Pro-Am at the European Challenge Tour; and bursting at Arnold Palmer (finishing T-18) and Mexico (T-29) in the past two weeks. The 25 year old could very well act in the Masters with a strong week this week; given that he is currently in 48th place in the world and the top 50 in the world at the end of the month will aim for a ticket to Augusta.

Harris English is also in the clubhouse with a 7-under 65 to open up his players. On his 21st departure from TPC Sawgrass, the Englishman shot in the 1960s for the second time. English has been consistent this season, and supports him with a great start to the TPC.

14:25: On Thursday, our group of marquees is making a mess of things. Brooks Koepka just lost a five-foot par-5 second to 1-over. And Jon Rahm got into trouble in par 5, while a recovery throw for his third to second hit a tree and returned to him. This also led to a bogey 6. Rory eliminated issue no. 2, but it is also 1-over after his bogey at n. 1.

14:16: Harris English! En fuego! The former Georgia Bulldog has just drilled a 35-foot hole on the eighth par 3 hole to switch to the 7 hole par 7. He is tied with Bezuidenhout for the best round of the course, two shy of Hideki Matsuyama’s 9-under 63.

The success of the Englishman is further proof that TPC Sawgrass is such a difficult tournament to predict. The Englishman had missed the cut here in each of his six previous appearances, and boasts only one round in the 60s in 20 rounds at TPC Sawgrass. Yet it is close to the top of the standings here Thursday.

14:09: Christiaan Bezuidenhout with a strong parade at 17, going from almost the sketches of her tee to an escape with a par. The South African maintains that stellar 7 round by going to the difficult hole in the house.

14:04: Rory misses a 7-footer on par to launch a shot on his opening hole (# 1) to begin his title defense at TPC Sawgrass. As you may have heard in the run-up to the league, nobody has ever successfully defended their title to the Players, which is a bit strange. Rory made this a little more difficult with that opener.

14:01: Wow! South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, with the best round at the moment, is playing the 17th hole for the first time in competition. And he just had a memorable initiation.

His tee shot kept drawing and hovering over the green, almost bouncing off the water. But he ended up on the catwalk to the green. He will have an interesting game on the sidelines to keep this fantastic 7-under round.

13:53: The afternoon marquee group is officially on the track, with Worlds No. 1, 2 and 3 players starting their round in the first round. Everyone lost the fairway, with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka missing the fairway on the left, and Jon Rahm passing his tee ball and missing on the right.

They know that some low scores are possible after Hideki Matsuyama’s under-9 round this morning, which marked the course record at TPC Sawgrass.

13:40: Christiaan Bezuidenhout little birds on the 14th to move to seven below, the possibility of a puncher to tie Matsuyama’s sign. Bezuidenhout got a win and a second place in the last five starts and a nice API appearance last week.

13:32.: Another name in the mix is ​​Keith Mitchell. Last year’s Honda Classic winner is five years old and keeps his approach to sixth.

13:20: Hideki beats the eagle in his last hole, the ninth par-5, to tie the field record with a 63 sub-nine. Surprisingly, he did it at the head of the field in strokes earned / placed (4,251).

13:11: Cam Champ analyzes only the par-5 16 ° very birdie, but heads to the last two five-hole holes below. Champ has struggled since his win in the fall, nice to see him right on the ship.

1:00 pm.: Harris English has never made a cut in his career in the player league. Now, of course, it has six 11 to 11 holes.

12:53: Dustin Johnson is missing only one bird in the seventh, but remains two below for the day. The DJ has historically fought in this tournament, so a good start for the former No. 1 in the world.

12:48.: Hi Webb Simpson. Using a hot putter (1.8 hits so far on the greens) Simpson moved to four under, only two behind the command.

12:44: Hideki adds another sixth bird (his 15th), moving to six below. Matsuyama was in the desert last year, it was good to see him return to the mix.

12:41.: Also on the wrestling bus: Rickie Fowler. The former player champion is four years old in his turn, as is Jordan Spieth. Fowler has struggled to keep his ball on the fairway so far.

12:37: Phil Mickelson’s bad performance continues at TPC Sawgrass. Mickelson has five carts a day and is near the bottom of the board at three o’clock.

12:26: Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Cantlay are tied to five below, but are joined by some interesting names at the top of the rankings: Rory Sabbatini, Jim Herman, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Cam Champ. Currently 12 guys one shot from the command.

12:10: Francesco Molinari, who was questionable about playing after retiring from last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he was the reigning champion, decided to make it. He may regret that decision after 10 holes. The British Open 2018 champion with a decent track record at the TPC Sawgrass is now four. Only two players currently on the field have a worse score.

11:55: Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, makes it official: no fans will be authorized to the Players for the duration of the tournament. However, after speaking with President Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the event will continue as planned, as will future PGA Tour events. At least for now. However, no fans will be admitted to next week’s Valspar Championship, the WGC-Match Play Championship and the Valero Texas Open for next month’s Masters. The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club championship, an event on the opposite field of the week of the WGC-Match Play, has been postponed. Here is his entire statement:

Allow me to anticipate my comments by reinforcing the fact that the health and safety of our players, employees, partners, volunteers, fans and everyone associated with the PGA TOUR is our top priority.

I spoke to President Trump this morning and I also spoke to Governor Ron DeSantis a few hours ago. Our team is in constant communication with the local health authorities in each market where our tournaments are held and we are monitoring and monitoring the health information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization in addition to travel advice. provided by the U.S. Department of State. Both the White House and the Governor’s office have been and support the precautionary measures we have taken at this point.

It goes without saying that this is an incredibly fluid and dynamic situation. We have been and are committed to being responsible, reflective and transparent in our decision-making process.

With this as a pretext, at this point in time, the PGA TOUR events – in all the Tours – will continue as expected, but they will do so without the fans. This policy starts tomorrow at THE PLAYERS Championship (Friday) and continues through the Valero Texas Open. It is important to note that this may change, but for now this decision allows the PGA TOUR, our fans and our members to plan, prepare and respond as events unfold.

In addition, the recently announced travel advice and potential logistical problems associated with players and staff traveling internationally limit our ability to successfully organize the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. Therefore, we will postpone that event and provide details in the next weeks on a reprogramming as this situation develops.

We will continue PLAYERS only with essential staff and will have direct conversations with those groups (vendors, broadcasters, media, player support groups, essential volunteers) to provide instructions.

This is a difficult situation, with consequences that affect our players, fans and the communities in which we play. As I said earlier this week, we created a team that carefully monitored and assessed the situation and its implications for several weeks. We have evaluated all the options and appreciate the contribution and collaboration through the TOUR, our sector, our partners and our members who have brought us to this point. We will continue with this collaboration and I want to thank our fans for supporting the TOUR PGA.

half past eleven: Fans were admitted to the ground on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass, but it appears that this will not be the case for the rest of the tournament. Doug Ferguson of AP reports that players will go on without fans in the next three days and the PGA Tour will keep this policy in place for the foreseeable future.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to make an official announcement at noon.

11:15: Finally, a little life from that Fowler-Thomas-Spieth who mates as they take turns. Thomas intervened for the eagle on no. 16 to go back on one above:

Fowler arrived on a 10 foot for 18 birdie to return to a tie. And Spieth, well, is still struggling. The three-time main champion took the turn at three.

11:03: The bump of Bay Hill continues to TPC Sawgrass. Marc Leishman, coming out alone for a second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, has four holes under seven. He is currently ahead with Bryson DeChambeau, Scottie Scheffler, Keith Mithchell and Rory Sabbatini. Just as expected by everyone!

10:47: Scottie Scheffler is human. The rookie made his first bogey of the day at no. 1 to go back to four below. He is currently tied with Bryson DeChambeau, who has just completed a back-nine 32. The pair is shot in front of a large group of three underneath. For full scores, click here.

10:33: Scottie Scheffler kills the eighteenth hole to make the round at five o’clock below and resume the initial command. Not bad for his first official ride on this treacherous Pete Dye track.

10:20: Bryson DeChambeau kills the 17th hole to go four down and join Scottie Scheffler four down. Hideki Matsuyama made his first bogey of the week on 16 par-5 to return to the three below.

10:15: Justin Thomas, one of the favorites to win this week, started off brutally. After a bogey on the easy twelfth hole, he just made a double bogey on n. 14 to move on to the third.

10:03: What a week has been so far for J.T. Poston and Aaron Flener. On Wednesday, Flener won the caddy race closest to pin out of 17 with a shot in three feet:

And on Thursday, Flener’s boss did it at the start of his first round:

Even Flener survived enough a fast food party at the beginning of the week. Maybe the all-you-can-eat chili dogs for $ 7.99 weren’t as bad as we thought. . .

9:50: The star-studded group of Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth had a big hit in the short 12th par-4. Fowler went right and doubled, Thomas got wet on the left and bogeyed and Spieth drove the green – and three times tied. Rough.

9:35: IT’S SOON, but let’s take a quick rundown of the rankings at TPC Sawgrass, where Hideki Matsuyama is at the top after birdie his first four holes:

  1. Hideki Matsuyama (-4)
    2t. Bryson DeChambeau (-3)
    2t. Scottie Scheffler (-3)

For full scores, click here.

9:30 am .: Phil Mickelson recovers from a bogey at no. 11 with a bird on the short par-4 12th. Dustin Johnson also kills the hole to get red numbers while Webb Simpson pars to stay one below.

9:19: Two guys who will be off to a great start for the week in Bay Hill, Bryson DeChambeau and Sungjae Im, have continued to move forward in their Thursday games. Both are two under three holes. I’m arguably the hottest player in the world, claiming his first PGA Tour victory at the Honda Classic two weeks ago with a third alone at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. I guess we should get used to this 22 year old who will soon live on the charts.

9:13: Phil Mickelson makes a first pitch, literally, on the 11th par-5 with his second pitch. It leads to a bogey as it drops to one above. Game partners Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson both make a tie to stay in a draw.

9:07: Scottie Scheffler makes a third consecutive birdie to take the initial threesome command below. The debutant of the PGA Tour already has four of the top seven places in 13 starts this season. And how he told the Golf Digest Podcast recently, he is still an agent without equipment, so this week could prove to be a rather profitable audition.

9:01: One of the featured groups – Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler – all start their weeks on par with number 10. Incredibly, Spieth is still looking for his first win from the 2017 Open Championship. “I’m just trying to reverse a year and a half of bad repetitions, “he said Wednesday.

8:54: This from Ryan Lavner of the Golf Channel … although the tour allows fans to watch The Players this morning, they are taking precautions, not just other sports.

8:49: The Woodland, Bryson and Sungjae group with some sporting birds! Gary Woodland arrives at 1-under after a nice up and down from the front bunkers on the right; Sungjae also gets up and down, from the left side, for his little bird, making a shot of about 13 feet. And Bryson looked great for the eagle but was missing, so they’re all 1-under through their first two holes.

8:46: We have been told through our Brian Wacker that there will be an update from the tour before noon. We will update here once we know what it means, but preventing fans from joining TPC Sawgrass would make sense given the moves of other major sporting events.

8:40: An advantage for all these feeds for each player is now that we will be able to tell who the slowest players on the PGA Tour are for real. It seemed that the group of Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland and Sungjae Im had remained forever on the fairway at the eleventh hole par-5 (they could have waited for the green to flatten forward … without commenting with each group, it is difficult to identify exactly why). But it was worth waiting for Bryson to hit a 270-yard fairway forest at about 11 feet, creating an eagle putt for the mad scientist.

8:31: One of the combinations of the morning tent – Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama – just took off on the 10th, and they all look good birdies on the first hole of the nine outwards.

Hideki probably looks the best, about 8 feet below the hole, but Reed is also about 6 feet away, but perhaps above the hole with a small pause. Cantlay has approximately 10 feet. Hideki and Cantlay, both under the hole, rolled over in their birdies, but Reed missed his shot in the hole.

Rory Sabbatini is the first player to suffer 2, while he pulled a long 26 feet to the fourth par 4 hole for his second birdie of the day.

Joining Cantlay and Matsuyama in 1-under are: Michael Thompson (-1 to 2); Brian Gay (-1 under 2 *); Jimmy Walker (-1 to 1); Scottie Scheffler (-1 to 2 *) Check the ranking on PGATour.com here for the latest scores.

8:22: Brian Harman returns a shot, following his bird to the second hole with a bogey to the third par-3. His tee shot ended to the left of the green right in front of the half-moat bunker, leaving him in an awkward corner. His chip went over 27 feet past the hole, and he scored two from there for a 4. Sabbatini parried no. 3 to stay in a leading position with Brian Gay.

Other bigger names now on the course include Sungjae Im, Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler. Those three are all out with pars at n. 10.

Here are our five favorite groups of the day.

8:09: We were able to watch our birds of the day thanks to the tour that broadcast every shot. Brian Gay hit his approach on the 10th hole at 10 feet, then he rolled into the putt. He remained alone for a few minutes, until Rory Sabbatini and Brian Harman both rolled in short birdie shots on the second hole of par 5 to get to 1-under.

This is a time when having multiple devices if key – you can now follow all of these groups, with each group having their own feed. You just need to cleverly switch back and forth to cover each shot. OR, throw each group on a different device, if you have that luxury.

7:42: Aside from the split shirts, we were able to watch all the shots from the opening holes live as they happened, thanks to PGA Tour Live / NBC Sports Gold which shows every shot by each player for the first time in history. Brian Harman, Rory Sabbatini and Sepp Straka were the first to be n. 1; and Russell Henley, J.J. Spaun and Denny McCarthy left for the tenth hole at TPC Sawgrass. We were able to see Spaun beating from a tree to the right of the hole, as well as Henley going left to the left of the tee. Henley was able to avoid problems; Spaun no. He was the lone golfer out of the six opening players to bogey his opening hole. The feed was helpful: none of the opening groups missed out.

Click here to see all tee times for Day 1.

And so we are officially underway at the 2020 Players Championship.

Check the ranking on PGATour.com here for the latest scores.

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