THE PLAYERS: Chad Ramey Leads by One After First Round

By Mike Bonts

PONTE VEDRA (Florida Sports Wire) Chad Ramey, one of 32 first timers in the field, becomes the first player to hold the 18-hole lead/co-lead in his tournament debut at The Players Championship since Mackenzie Hughes in 2017.

Ramey (64) and Collin Morikawa (65) were the only two players in the field without a bogey or worse in the first round. Five of the 11 players tied for fifth or better are first timers at The Players Championship; those 11 players have made a combined 11 prior starts.

Morikawa carded his lowest round at The Players Championship. His previous-best position on the leaderboard after any round was tied for 26.

Morikawa is seeking his first victory of the season after three top-10s in his last five starts: 2nd/Sentry Tournament of Champions, 3rd/Farmers Insurance Open, T6/The Genesis Invitational and his sixth win on the PGA TOUR (most recent: 2021 Open Championship).

Tracking Ramey

  • 11th player to shoot 64 or better in the first round of The Players Championship on record (since 1983) and first since Jason Day in 2016 (63); four of the previous 10 went on to win.
  • Second career 18-hole lead/co-lead on the Tour (T1/2021 Butterfield Bermuda Championship; went on to finish T17) and third career lead/co-lead after any round (T1/R2/2021 Shriners Children’s Open/T14.
  • Second-lowest opening round by a player making his debut on record (since 1983); best: 63/Roberto Castro/2013.
  • Second-lowest round of PGA Tour career (low: 63/R1/2021 Shriners Children’s Open)
  • Matches his low round of the 2022-23 season (R4/2023 Sony Open in Hawaii).

First Round Notes

Taylor Pendrith (T3/-5) opens with 5-under 67, his low 18-hole score in the event in his second appearance at the event (T13/2022); Pendrith hit all 14 fairways, his first career round on the PGA TOUR without missing a fairway….Making his debut, Ben Griffin (T3) birdies his last three holes (Nos. 7-9) en route to 5-under 67; Griffin is making his 14th start of the season and his best finish is T3 (2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship)….In his third start at The Players, World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler (T6) cards 68 to match his low round at the event…FedExCup leader and World No. 1 Jon Rahm, seeking his fourth win of the season, opens with 1-under 71 and sits T33; Rahm entered the week having finished in the top 10 in six of his seven starts on the Tour this season….2019  champion and World No. 3 Rory McIlroy records a 4-over 76 and sits T118; McIlroy’s 76 is his highest 18-hole score since shooting 76 in the final round of the 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard….Hayden Buckley (T71/+1) made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th with a pitching wedge from 125 yards; Buckley became the first player on record (1983-present) to record a hole-in-one at No. 17 and a birdie at No. 18 in the same round…Kurt Kitayama, winner of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, sits T71 after carding 1-over 73.


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