While most of the fans were either perched on the 17th hole or following either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson on the back nine, yours truly was walking the front nine with former Gators Chris DiMarco and Chris Couch.
There were two of us on the first hole following the Chrises. By the second hole, DiMarco’s wife was with us and on the third his father was waiting.
When DiMarco took the lead after birdies on three of the first four holes, we actually had a gallery for awhile.
While DiMarco was flirting with the lead for much of the morning, Couch’s first Players Championship didn’t start off the way he hoped. He hooked his drive on the first hole into a palmetto and had to take a drop on his way to a double bogey. On his second hole, he chipped over the green and had to make a 20-footer for par.
It was a battle for Couch as well as for Woods, who shot a 75 in the opening round. While we have avoided the rain so far, the wind is howling. It was an effort just to walk up the fairway on No. 9, which is playing dead into the wind.