With the afternoon pairings now out on the course, it's apparent that the morning wave of tee times at TPC Sawgrass got the benign conditions and the right end of the schedule. Several players, including Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson, posted multiple birdies with nine-hole stretches in the low 30s and Roberto Castro matched the tournament course record with a 63. The wind has picked up a bit in the afternoon at The Players, and Ryan Palmer is currently the only afternoon player making the sort of run put together by multiple golfers in the morning.
One player out in the afternoon who's apparently bothered by the wind changes is Tiger Woods.
Now he's all flummoxed by the wind. Tossing grass, looking at flags, indecisive.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) May 9, 2013
While he already has a Players victory (2001), Tiger is not particularly fond of this course and has not played well here since 2009. Woods has yet to make a bogey through his first six holes, but he's just 1-under. In that same stretch this morning, Scott Stallings posted five red numbers. All Tiger's pars have come pretty easy, with tap-ins up on the greens, but he's likely getting antsy and searching for birdies to push his number into the mid-60s. His only birdie came on the par-5 second, and he still has three of those remaining in his round. It's unlikely the morning scoring conditions are replicated again this week, so simply finishing a few shots under par will be fine positioning for the final three days.
Just ahead of Tiger is Phil Mickelson, who's also 1-under through his first seven holes. Phil led for the entire weekend in Charlotte last week before bogeying two of his final three holes to give it away. So he should be in form at Sawgrass, but it's always impossible to predict what you'll get from him -- particularly on a course where accuracy off the tee is important. Like Woods, Mickelson picked up a birdie on the par-5 second hole but he quickly gave that shot back two holes later. A birdie putt at sixth found the cup and put him back in red numbers as he moves towards the turn.
Here's a snapshot of the leaderboard and the numbers (along with some notables) from the morning that both Phil and Tiger are chasing: