Players Championship 2023: 3 Instantaneous Reactions to Thursday Leaderboard Scores

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVMarch 10, 2023

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Jon Rahm of Spain plays his 2d shot on the Tenth gap all the map through the fundamental spherical of THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 09, 2023 in Ponte Vedra Seaside, Florida. (Checklist by David Cannon/Getty Photos)

David Cannon/Getty Photos

Play change into suspended all the map through Thursday’s first spherical at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Seaside, Florida, though most players both accomplished or made it through as a minimum 14 holes.

So while the spherical wasn’t accomplished, there have been aloof heaps of takeaways obtainable from the early stages of the tournament.

Jon Rahm and Max Homa Delight in Their Work Decrease Out for Them

Two of the favorites heading into the tournament discover themselves staring down a serious early deficit in the wait on of the tournament’s leader, Chad Ramey, who shot an eight-below 64 to shuffle the discipline.

Rahm is today seven strokes wait on, while Homa finds himself eight strokes in the wait on of Ramey. Every accomplished their rounds.

Rick Gehman @RickRunGood

Rahm great time.

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Jon Rahm lost more than 2 strokes striking currently.

Since 2017, he averages +0.44 strokes obtained striking per spherical in California… and -0.26 per spherical in Florida. A inequity of two.8 strokes per 72 holes.

“The finest ingredient I could perhaps perhaps boom is that I hit pretty so much of quality putts out there,” a disenchanted Rahm in reality helpful journalists after his spherical. “The finest ingredient I shall be pondering on currently is a pair wedge shots, about three or four of them out there, that now not finest did now not I hit them finish, some of them I missed the inexperienced entirely. … That’s the build I specialize in the adaptation on the spherical change into currently compared with varied ratings out there.”

It’s now not the smash of delivery he or Homa would have wished, though each are absolutely in a position to turning issues spherical with three rounds to lunge. But each discover themselves in a serious, and disappointing, gap they’ll must sprint free from over the weekend.

Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler Could well must Be Idea of because the Early Favorites

Yes, Ramey holds the lead, nonetheless the proficient Morikawa is true one stroke wait on and change into among the favorites coming into Thursday.

“The sport feels undoubtedly beautiful, and I’m true going to employ that into the following few days and true more or less utilize that momentum to confidently play three more undoubtedly beautiful rounds,” Morikawa in reality helpful journalists after his spherical.

Kevin Van Valkenburg @KVanValkenburg

Morikawa has a probability to be remembered because the finest Mechanic of his technology. He is already ridden his singular talent (a refined fade) to primary heights: Two majors forward of he turned 25. He sees his line, belief it, and watches it repeat. The ball nearly never goes left.

Kevin Van Valkenburg @KVanValkenburg

Morikawa wasn’t incapable hitting draws. Indubitably, after asserting he change into dedicated to work on it because wished to be a total player, it turned out he change into pretty beautiful. He contended at the U.S. Birth at Brookline, he did it nearly fully hitting draws.

Kevin Van Valkenburg @KVanValkenburg

When he missed the slash remaining week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he made up our minds he’d more or less had ample. He most well-known to reprogram his brain. He showed up at Sawgrass on Sunday, planted himself on the wait on differ, all on my own, and began to grind.

Kevin Van Valkenburg @KVanValkenburg

He showed up for Thursday’s spherical, certain to belief his “minute toddler slash” and chanced on a freedom he hadn’t felt in months. He missed finest three greens and hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to four toes for a faucet in eagle. It change into an spectacular toddler fade that drifted trusty toward the pin.

Kevin Van Valkenburg @KVanValkenburg

The Mechanic in him had returned. You would possibly perhaps maybe presumably argue there are more interesting ways to play golf, nonetheless Morikawa’s magic with his irons would possibly perhaps perhaps true be a mirrored image of his persona. Setting friendly, disciplined, constant. As soon as rapidly, you don’t must mess with wearisome nonetheless perfect.

Scheffler, meanwhile, is true four strokes wait on and change into arguably the safest wager to know delivery air of Rahm coming in, so he’s sitting pretty pretty as smartly.

With so much of the numerous favorites scuffling a minute more on Thursday (more on that below), Morikawa and Scheffler see just like the halt contenders to take care of the fundamental spherical.

Rory McIlroy Is Toast

With out ask, the largest disappointment on Thursday change into McIlroy, who limped to a four-over 76 and finds himself 12 strokes off the shuffle.

Kyle Porter @KylePorterCBS

You would possibly perhaps maybe nearly discover about Rory replaying the Bryson articles from the 2021 Birth in his head as he answers this.

Is that insurmountable? No, now not definitively, nonetheless it absolutely’s exhausting to remember McIlroy undoubtedly taking half in three splendid rounds of golf and rocketing wait on up the leaderboard.

If there change into a player who will discover a map to drag off the feat, it be McIlroy, nonetheless most definitely he’s true combating to smash the slash and plan himself an even bigger fragment of the purse at this level.

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