Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Records all the way as Martin Kaymer takes charge of TPC at Sawgrass

updated 7:13 PM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
Martin Kaymer conjured up a superb finish at Sawgrass to take a two-shot lead after the first round.
Martin Kaymer conjured up a superb finish at Sawgrass to take a two-shot lead after the first round.
  • Martin Kaymer leads TPC at Sawgrass
  • Shoots record tying 63 in first round
  • Russell Henley in second place two shots back
  • Jordan Spieth in big group in tie for fourth

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Germany's Martin Kaymer ripped through his final nine holes in a record breaking 29 shots to take the first round lead with a course record tying 63 in the Players Championship at Sawgrass Thursday.

Kaymer, who started on the 10th, was two-under-par through the turn but then carded an incredible seven birdies on the front nine.

He finished with four in a row, including a tap-in birdie four on the ninth to become the first man to shoot lower than 30 on either the front of back nine of the famous course in Florida.

Martin Kaymer's sand shot master class
How to putt like Martin Kaymer
Life on the road with Martin Kaymer
Henrik Stenson claims $10 million prize

The 29-year-old Kaymer, who took the PGA Championship in 2010 and went to world number one the following year, has not won since November 2011 and struggled for form in 2013, his first full year of campaigning on the PGA Tour.

Read: Ryder Cup hero Kaymer to join PGA Tour

But he will hold a two-shot lead over Honda Classic winner Russell Henley heading into the second round, with Sang Moon-Bae of Korea on 66 and a clutch on big names on five-under 67.

They include last year's runner-up in the 'fifth major' -- Spain's Sergio Garcia -- and 20-year-old Masters hero Jordan Spieth, who pushed Bubba Watson all the way at Augusta.

"I felt comfortable all day," Spieth said. "Felt comfortable from really the first hole."

Justin Rose, the reigning U.S. Open champion was also on that mark along with fellow Englishman Lee Westwood, who was in the first group out.

Watson, Australian Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and Swede Henrik Stenson, who can all claim the world number one spot from the absent reigning Players champion Tiger Woods, were not challenging the first day leader on a day of low-scoring.

Read: How many majors can Bubba win?

There was also frustration for Phil Mickelson, who carded a three-over 75 and is in danger of missing the cut.

"It's soft, there's just a lot of birdies out there," Mickelson said. "Yeah, it's a little disappointing and frustrating."

Kaymer took full advantage to become the fourth player in the tournament's history to shoot a 63, the others Greg Norman, Fred Couples and Roberto Castro.

"I didn't make many mistakes," Kaymer said. "Today was a very special round," he told the official PGA Tour website.

If he can turn his fine start into a victory, he will become only the fourth European winner in 41 attempts at the prestigious event.

Woods is missing his defense as he recovers from back surgery with no time frame given for his return.

Read: Woods unable to set return date

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:49 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
updated 12:48 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
updated 12:09 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
updated 8:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
updated 9:01 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.