Chad Ramey put together a memorable round on Thursday as he shot an eight-under 64 to lead The Players Championship after 18 holes.
Ramey, 30, has one PGA Tour victory to his name and is defying his recent form, having missed the cut in each of his past three starts, and he has not had a top-30 finish since October.
He finished his first trip around The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass with four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back nine – including on the famous 'island green' 17th hole – and was one of the few players to go bogey-free.
He is one stroke clear of two-time major champion Collin Morikawa, who was the only competitor to shoot a seven-under 65, also going bogey-free with five birdies and an eagle.
What a shot @ChadRamey2 birdies the iconic 17th and now owns the solo lead @THEPLAYERSChamp. pic.twitter.com/Bg1DyHIr7Y— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 9, 2023
While Morikawa is the only player within two strokes of the lead, rookie Justin Suh has a chance to join him when he resumes on Friday with three holes to finish off. He is tied for third at five under, although his next shot will be a putt for eagle on the 16th.
Suh is joined by Taylor Pendrith and Ben Griffin at five under, while world number two Scottie Scheffler headlines the group tied for sixth at four under.
Viktor Hovland and Jordan Spieth are still in the mix after impressive three-under 69s as part of the afternoon group, who played in the trickier conditions, and coming off four consecutive top-10 finishes Jason Day is one further back at two under.
It was a day to forget for pre-tournament fancies Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick, both at four over, while Hayden Buckley will never forget his shot of the day after acing at the famous 17th.
BUCKETS FOR BUCKLEY! @HBuckley13 makes a hole-in-one at the 17th hole in the second group of the day! pic.twitter.com/Cd7BULOB2W— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 9, 2023