Fleetwood finishes strong for Players lead

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Fleetwood finishes strong for Players lead
Tommy Fleetwood reacts to his putt on the ninth hole during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tommy Fleetwood kept a clean card in the March wind and finished with three straight birdies for a 7-under 65, setting the early pace Thursday in The Players Championship.

The move from May to its traditional spot on the calendar brought green, softer conditions and more wind than usual. Even so, Fleetwood was among several early starters who managed to take aim on the TPC Sawgrass.

Byeong Hun An and Brian Harman were at 66, while Rory McIlroy also played bogey-free for a 67.

Tiger Woods was among the late starters on the Players Stadium Course.

Harris English had an albatross when he holed out with his second shot on the par-5 11th hole, the third straight year for an albatross in The Players.