Published:  12:33 AM, 16 March 2019

Fleetwood, Bradley share lead at Sawgrass

England's Tommy Fleetwood hit a seven-under-par 65 to share the lead of the Players Championship with Keegan Bradley after round one at Sawgrass.

Fleetwood, 28, struck six birdies in his last nine holes, coming home in 30 shots, one off the tournament record. American Bradley holed six birdies, an eagle and a bogey in Florida. They are one shot ahead of South Korea's Byeong-hun An and American Brian Harman, with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy a stroke further back.

McIlroy carded a bogey-free 67 and is in a tie for fifth with Americans Vaughn Taylor and Ryan Moore. "I played really well all day apart from I hit a poor tee shot on 14 and got away with it," Fleetwood told Sky Sports. "The course doesn't make you feel very comfortable at all, you are always a semi-bad shot from struggling to make par. It's one of the courses that's the ultimate test in golf. "I've played well here in the past and if I drive it well that's a massive key for me. Driving is a strength for me normally and if you put it in play all the time in general you have a big advantage."

Tiger Woods is a shot behind on two under, level with Scotland's Russell Knox, England's Matthew Fitzpatrick and Australian major winners Jason Day and Adam Scott. The 14-time major champion, who withdrew from the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational with a neck strain, had an erratic round of 70, hitting six birdies and four bogeys.

World number two Justin Rose is on two over, alongside compatriot Tyrell Hatton and Americans Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. Danny Willet is a stroke further back, while Paul Casey struggled, hitting a six-over 78.

---BBC, Florida

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