Johnson confident this Players Championship will be different

- Despite struggling at times and looking downright despondent at others, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler fought to dueling 2-under 70s in the first round of The Players Championship on Thursday.

The PGA Tour made a rare visit to Wilmington, North Carolina at the Wells Fargo Championship where Brian Harman nailed a 30-foot putt on the last hole to deny Dustin Johnson his fourth consecutive win.

The heat combined with 22 percent humidity dried out the course as the day wore on, making TPC Sawgrass play firm and fast, exaggerating bad bounces.

Speaking about a round containing two birdies and one bogey, the newly-married four-time major victor said: "Today it seemed like the golf course should be gettable but no-one really posted any low numbers". "The game is in really good shape".

"If I feel good, I'm probably going to go for it". "I haven't had a lot of success around here".

When asked if that meant he was committing to hitting driver all four rounds, he answered, "I'm not committed to anything pre me getting there". Just watch what the 2017 Masters victor did below and get those goosebumps ready. "I want to one-putt", Johnson said, and then he smiled and held up his index finger to show his ranking.

"When I woke up I was four over after six so I'm happy I was able to get back a little bit and salvage a decent round and I need a good one tomorrow to get back in the tournament". Past year I felt like I was close. Course designers have shortened the length on the hole. With 600 FedEx Cup points and a whooping $10.5 million purse up for grabs, you can bet the pressure is on as the players tee off this week. It was pretty good stuff on that first nine and, although I would have liked to have finished under par, the game's great.

It was the eighth ace at the island green in the history of the event, and Garcia raised his right arm in a somewhat muted clenched-fist celebration as the gallery went wild.

As I mentioned above Johnson has not played well here in the past. "No, it was. I don't really know what to stay about that round". Johnson's tournament history at The Players includes one top-30 finish in eight starts - a tie for 28th a year ago. He would have been tough to beat that week. He heads to northeast Florida after claiming his first major title in 74 attempts and owns the longest active-cuts-made streak in this event with 13 in a row, dating to 2004. "If I keep putting like that, I'm going to be right there on Sunday".

Golf around the world has largely taken the week off, just like during the Masters. "I try to have fun out there and really enjoy it, try not to let anything bother me".

Day was going low and thinking big again midway through Thursday's first round.

"I was a little rusty out there", McIlroy said. "Now", he later explained, "I believe I can do it each time".

"To have 90,000 people calling your name, that was extremely special, and I was nervous", he admitted, adding that his nerves were perhaps unfounded because he only had to kick the ball 15 yards.

It also might be the most hard to handicap. He just works to contain and control his emotions throughout an entire round.

"I wouldn't have expected a round like that, but I knew my game was trending", said the 26-year-old from Ontario, like McGirt, a one-time PGA Tour victor. "A lot of what you do is control your emotions". That's the one I'd like to have back, and dump it further up on the green, hit it a bit more solid.

"Maybe a year ago I was too aggressive", Knox told BBC Scotland.


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