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To say the first round of The Players Championship was disrupted would be an understatement. Gone was the glorious sunshine of the practice days as rain and thunderstorms took its place on Thursday.
That left some in a race against time (and daylight) to finish all 18 holes and guarantee themselves a full night's sleep. One such player was Ian Poulter, who is no stranger to navigating TPC Sawgrass at a canter.
With darkness closing in, the Englishman left his playing partners behind after clipping an excellent tee shot on the treacherous 17th to ensure he could get his drive away on the last before time was called.
A photo posted by on
As you can see, upping the pace didn't seem to do Poulter any harm as he casually closed out his opening round with a birdie and a par on two of the most demanding holes in golf. Earlier, Adam Scott made a quadruple-bogey eight on the 18th after firing two balls into the water off the tee.
Poulter's playing partners, Pat Perez and Jhonattan Vegas, were certainly appreciative of his efforts.
"Thank you @ianjamespoulter! I would have not made it around that first turn," Perez wrote on Instagram.
Vegas added: "Thanks @ianjamespoulter for saving us a few hours of sleep. We owe one for sure."
As mentioned, this wasn't the first time Poulter has been spotted running to complete a round over the famous layout. Back in 2011, the Englishman faced a similar dilemma and negotiated it just as impressively, holing from a similar distance for birdie on the penultimate hole.
Unfortunately for the 46-year-old, while he may have secured himself some uninterrupted rest, his birdie-par finish was only good enough for a one-over round of 73. That has him in a tie for 99th, seven shots behind leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge.
With more bad weather forecast for today, there's a strong possibility that this year's $20 million Players Championship could finish on Monday.
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A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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