Henley takes early lead at Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Russell Henley made birdie on half of his holes Thursday in The Players Championship. That was more than enough to outweigh his one big mistake.

Henley took double bogey on No. 7 and answered with a 30 on the back nine of the TPC Sawgrass for a 7-under 65. That gave him a two-shot lead among the early starters in warm, calm conditions that were perfect for scoring.

Lee Westwood, Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia were among those at 67.

Rory McIlroy was challenging for the lead until three bogeys dropped him to a 70. Phil Mickelson, off to the slowest start of his PGA Tour career, had to make a 6-foot par putt on his last hole for a 75.

Adam Scott was among the late starters.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!