Adam Scott, of Australia, hits from the rough on the 15th fairway during the first round of the Players Championship.
Adam Scott, of Australia, hits from the rough on the 15th fairway during the first round of the Players Championship. Chris O'Meara

Water hazards wreak havoc on Adam Scott

GOLF: Adam Scott surged into the outright lead late in the first round of the Players Championship before disaster struck.

Scott, the 2004 winner at golf's unofficial "fifth major", had stormed to a flawless six-under par through 15 holes to be outright leader before finding water on the 17th and 18th holes and finishing with two straight double bogeys.

He sat at two-under par after round one, in a tie for 18th with Australia's defending champion Jason Day, who also made a solid start. They were three shots off joint leaders, American William McGirt and Canada's Mackenzie Hughes.

Masters winner Sergio Garcia produced the shot of the day, landing only the eighth ever hole-in-one on TPC Sawgrass's iconic "Island Green" par-three 17th, but he struggled overall to a one-over 73.

Aaron Baddeley joined Scott and Day at two-under as the best-placed Australians, with young gun Cameron Smith a further shot back.

JB Holmes, Alex Noren, Chez Reavie and John Rahm are tied for third at four-under at the $US10.5 million ($14.2 million) event, while world No.1 Dustin Johnson (71) made a solid start and big guns Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth both battled to 73s.

Scott drowned his tee shot at the par-three 17th immediately after watching playing partner Garcia make his hole-in-one.

News Corp Australia

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