Day, Scott chase Players leader Simpson

Day ended the week in tied-60th

It was only on his fourth start at The Players Championship that Rory McIlroy broke par since then he's only had five rounds, out of 28, in the 60s and missed four cuts at TPC Sawgrass in his career, with only 3 top tens.

Woods nearly missed his opportunity to make a charge. When the first round sees scores go low, typically, the PGA Tour will instruct the grounds crew to make the greens firmer for the second round.

"I didn't quite swing it right today, and I didn't quite have the shape, ball flight", said 14-times major champion Woods.

Through the front nine on Saturday, Woods has shot -6, shooting par on six of nine holes. Not only did he tie the course record, but he leads the most loaded field in all of golf by five shots.

The 29-year-old did made a positive start with excellent putts for birdies at 11 and 12, although he then three-putted the 13th before getting the shot back at the long 16th.

"I was in-between clubs", he said. The whole day I hit a lot of quality shots and 65 was probably as high as I could have shot, which was kind of nice.

Playing alongside him for the first time was the 27-year-old Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, who stared at his phone Friday night hoping to see a text that he would be paired with Woods. Much of that has to do with the water, just not any found on the golf course. Putts that I'm just trying to get close are going in.

The supernova group of Woods, Mickelson and Rickie Fowler disappointed on the course after an inordinate amount of hype coming into Round 1. "But I can assure you, for me it was goosebumps and shivers out there hearing all the noise and playing with him".

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While it didn't lead to a birdie, Woods hit one of his best shots of the day at the hard par-3 8, a butter cut 3-iron that finished perfectly pin high and led to a routine par.

Indeed, Spieth matched Woods' seven-under 65 as he twice hit three birdies in a row and managed nine in total.

And it was welcome, given his struggles here of late and this year in general.

"I think I was ideal inside of 12, 15".

"I felt like everything was working today", Simpson told Golf Channel after his round.

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"I actually drove the ball unbelievably well the first two days, and I hit my driver really poorly today and shot 7-under. You have to just take what it gives you, and take you medicine when you get out of position".

Spieth hit 14 of 18 greens and needed just 24 putts.

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