Round 1 of the Players Championship: Leaderboard, early standouts and more

THE PLAYERS Championship - Round One
Collin Morikawa off to a hot start at THE PLAYERS Championship

The Players Championship is well underway, with a few players getting off to blistering starts, while others have struggled. Round 1 is complete and there are three more rounds, but it's been an excellent start to the fifth and unofficial major golf has to offer.

Here's the current leaderboard after one round at the Players Championship:

  • 1 Chad Ramey -8
  • 2 Collin Morikawa -7
  • 3 Taylor Pendrith -5
  • T4 Min Woo Lee -4
  • T4 Denny McCarthy -4
  • T4 Christian Bezuidenhout -4
  • T4 Adam Svensson -4
  • T4 Scottie Scheffler -4
  • T9 Si Woo Kim -3
  • T9 Cam Davis -3
  • T9 Justin Rose -3
  • T9 Nate Lashley -3

Who will keep it up and who will falter in the later rounds?

Standouts from Players Championship round one

Chad Ramey has had an unbelievable start to his Players Championship. The golfer shot 64 for a -8 on the day and currently leads all players. There's still a ways to go and a lot of good golfers behind Ramey that can catch up, but a good start helps nonetheless.

Just behind him is Collin Morikawa, who actually held a lead early on in the competition. -7 is a great start, and he's suddenly a popular bet to win it all. Ramey is still a long shot, but Morikawa has the pedigree to start pulling off a victory.

Shockingly, Rory McIlroy has stumbled out of the gate a bit. He's not even in the top 100 as he is four over after his first day.

Not only does McIlroy need to turn it around to compete, but if he wants to keep pace or surpass Jon Rahm or Scottie Scheffler in the world rankings, he's going to need to have a really good end of tournament.

Jon Rahm at the Players Championship
Jon Rahm at the Players Championship

Rahm is currently five shots ahead of McIlroy, so he's not playing exceptionally well, either. Still, -1 after a day is not a bad spot to be in. Scheffler is having the best day of the three at four under, poised to return to the top spot on the OWGR leaderboard.

Taylor Pendrith's -5 and third-place standing is a surprise, too. Justin Thomas, who has had a lot of success at TPC Sawgrass and is the most recent champion in the field (2022 winner Cameron Smith is not due to his affiliation with LIV Golf), but he's T21 with one under par thus far.

Will Zalatoris is a shocking disappointment so far. CBS Sports' Patrick McDonald said:

"I loved his prospects coming into the week -- his skillset is pretty similar to Morikawa's -- but Will Zalatoris has started miserably. He is 3 over through his opening five holes and finds himself 11 strokes off the pace of Chad Ramey. There's plenty of golf left, but will need to turn on the after burners sooner rather than later."

The comparison hurts even more since Morikawa is off to a blazing hot start and Zalatoris is stuck in the mud.

It's been an excellent day of golf thus far, with a few standouts cementing their status as real contenders thus far.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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