The PGA Tour gave its premier tournament even more sizzle by putting Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in the same group Thursday afternoon. For the undercard, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas played together in the morning.
None was anywhere near the lead at The Players Championship.
McIlroy was the only player from those two groups who managed to break par. He shot 1-under 71.
The best golf — and there was plenty of it on an ideal opening round for scoring — was all around them.
Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Alex Noren set the pace early. Matt Kuchar, Chesson Hadley and Patrick Cantlay joined them late. All were at 66,...