Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Castro equals course record on Players debut

May 10, 2013 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
American Roberto Castro played college golf at Georgia Tech in Alabama.
American Roberto Castro played college golf at Georgia Tech in Alabama.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roberto Castro leads Players Championship after record-equaling opening round
  • The American shot a nine-under-par 63 to lead the field by three shots
  • Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson tied for second place on six under
  • Tiger Woods bogeys the 18th to sit tied for fourth on five under

(CNN) -- Roberto Castro enjoyed an impressive debut at the Players Championship, carding a nine-under-par round of 63 to tie the course record at TPC Sawgrass and top the leaderboard after day one of the $9.5 million tournament.

Yet to record a PGA Tour win in his six-year career, the American equaled the record set by golf icons Fred Couples and Greg Norman to lead two-time major winner Rory McIlroy and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson by three shots.

"Tiger Woods (didn't) play till this afternoon," Castro told the Tour's official website after a round which included seven birdies and an eagle at the second hole. "So I'm sure some people were looking for something interesting to watch.

"The last two weeks I've hit the ball nicely, the scores just haven't shown it. A couple of rounds, especially in the last two weeks, could have been low. They weren't even remotely low on the scorecard, but had a couple of quality shots."

Read: Jury out on new Hall of Fame inductees

The return of golf's 'Mechanic'
Life on the road with Martin Kaymer

Playing alongside Castro was compatriot Jason Bohn, who suggested the 27-year-old's round could have been even better.

"It was a clinic," said Bohn, who was four under at the end of Thursday's play. "It was beautiful. I've never seen a 63 shot like that.

"You see guys chip in or hole a bunker shot; but he shot 63 and it could've been two or three shots lower."

McIlroy enjoyed his best ever day at the event, having missed the cut and failed to break par on his three previous trips to Ponte Vedra Beach.

The world No. 2 was part of a stellar threesome which also included recently crowned Masters champion Adam Scott -- playing for the first time since his Augusta triumph -- and 12-time PGA winner Steve Stricker.

The toughest shot in golf?
Florida welcomes two new resorts

"I think when you get all three guys playing well in a group, you sort of feed off one another," said McIlroy. "It was a good group to be a part of."

Scott, who won the Players in 2004, was satisfied with his opening round of 69.

"I was a little surprised when I teed off that someone was five under already," explained the Australian. "I thought it might play a little tougher than that. But it was ideal.

"There wasn't even a breath of wind hardly on the front nine. The greens seemed pretty receptive, too, so if you were in the fairway you could attack."

A slip up at the 18th dashed world No. 1 Tiger Woods' hopes of carding a first bogey-free round at the Players.

The 14-time major winner carded six birdies during his round of 67, one stroke off his career best score at the event.

"I felt like I hit the ball good enough, but more importantly, I missed the ball in all the correct spots," said Woods, who is looking to win the tournament for the second time.

"I left myself some easy up and downs, and I was able to convert those up and downs."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT