The 2020 Players Championship started on the 12th of March and would end on Sunday, March 15.
The first round has ended with Japanese Hideki Matsuyama topping the leaderboard after shooting 63 to finish under 9, setting a new record as the fifth person to finish with 63 at the first round of the event.
Matsuyama began his round on a good start, making four consecutive birdies at the beginning before his ball hit the water. He made up for that by making more birdies and finishing with a 25-foot eagle at the end.
Three of the four previous people to make 63 on the first round have gone on to win the event. Matsuyama, who won his last title in 2017, is very hopeful to follow that tradition.
Meanwhile last year’s winner of the event and current number 1, Rory McIlroy finished at number 117 on the leaderboard. He had earlier said that he hoped to win the event for a second consecutive time, a feat considered impossible by some pundits as no one has been able to defend the title since its inception, despite having been won by many big names in the golf world.
McIlroy’s poor start on Thursday is an indication that this year’s title would be lifted by a fresh person.
As with any sporting event in these past few days, the coronavirus is having an effect on the Players Championship as fans would not be allowed to view the match as from Friday, the round 2.
Thursday’s event was graced with fans who came out to support their favourite golfer but that might be the last time fans would be present in a round of golf for March, as announced by Commissioner Jay Monahan.
This move was imperative to prevent the passing of the virus from fans to players or vice versa. World number 97, C.T Pan withdrew from the event because, in his words, ” my wife and I want to protect ourselves from the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.”
Any other scheduled golf event would hold as planned but without the presence of fans.
Written by: Leon Osamor