Friday
MAY 12, 2017
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By GARY VAN SICKLE

Television likes sexy. The PGA Tour likes sexy. The print media love sexy.

The opening round of The Players Championship on Thursday was the opposite of sexy. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson had to rally for 71. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth shot 73s. Jason Day bogeyed three of his last four for 70. Adam Scott finished double-double for 70. Masters champion Sergio Garcia was on the ropes until he aced the famed par-3 17th hole, the sexy highlight you will see a hundred times the rest of this week.

By sundown, your first-round leaders were the very unsexy William McGirt and MacKenzie Hughes, with 5-under 67s. 


By ALEX MICELI

Is it premature to call for changes to the 12th hole at TPC Sawgrass?  

I will concede that it could be a little hasty to pan a redesigned hole after only one day of competition at The Players Championship, yet it seems clear that the “drivable” par-4 12th hole offers more tedium than theatrics.

In a desire to add fun and excitement to the Players, the PGA Tour invested millions to redo the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, which included a makeover of No. 12.



Keeping score

8

Number of holes-in-one at the peninsula-green par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course in Players Championship history after Sergio Garcia holed a 52-degree wedge shot from 122 yards in Thursday’s first round. The other aces at No. 17: Willy Wilcox (2016), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2002), Paul Azinger (2000), Joey Sindelar (1999), Fred Couples (1997), Brian Claar (1991) and Brad Fabel (1986).

2,680

Number of entries accepted by the U.S. Golf Association for the U.S. Senior Open on June 29-July 2 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass. Eighteen-hole sectional qualifying will be played May 15-June 12 at 34 sites. Defending champion Gene Sauers and 11 other past champions are among 83 exempted players. In 2002, a record 3,101 golfers applied to play in the Senior Open.


In the news

Endangered: The fourth season on the PGA Tour China Series, which is supposed to begin this month. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addressed the uncertainty at TPC Sawgrass, site of this week’s Players Championship: “There’s a fair amount of relationship complexity that we’re dealing with.” The initial three-year contract with the China Golf Association and the China Olympic Sports Industry ended last year. The China Series has produced Haotong Li, who plays the European Tour and is No. 144 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and No. 219 Zecheng Dou of the Web.com Tour.



CALENDAR
May 11-14
PGA Tour: The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
European Tour: Portugal Open
Morgado G&CC, Portimao, Portugal
Symetra Tour: Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Classic
Links at Stoney Point, Greenwood, S.C.
May 15-17
College men: NCAA Division I regionals at six sites
Baton Rouge, La.; College Grove, Tenn.; West Lafayette, Ind.; Stanford, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Sammamish, Wash.
May 18-21
LPGA: Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.
Web.com Tour: BMW Charity Pro-Am
Thornblade Club, Greer, S.C.
Champions Tour: Regions Tradition
Greystone G&CC, Birmingham, Ala.
PGA Tour: AT&T Byron Nelson
TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas
European Tour: The Rocco Forte Open
Verdura GC, Agrigento, Italy
May 19-24
College women: NCAA Division I championship
Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Ill.
May 21-25
Industry: ING Spring Conference
World Golf Village and Hall of Fame Museum, St. Augustine, Fla.
May 25-28
Champions Tour: KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
Trump National GC, Potomac Falls, Va.
LPGA: LPGA Volvik Championship
Travis Point CC, Ann Arbor, Mich.
PGA Tour: Dean & DeLuca Invitational
Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas
European Tour: BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, England
May 25-31
College men: NCAA Division I championship
Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Ill.
May 26-29
Junior: AJGA Thunderbird International Junior
Grayhawk GC (Raptor), Scottsdale, Ariz.

      
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