It has been a historical year for the sport of golf. The Masters celebrated its first Australian-born winner (Adam Scott) in a thrilling final round, and on Thursday in the opening round of the 2013 Players Championship, Roberto Castro added his name to a long-standing Stadium Course record as well.
Castro shot a 63 in the opening round of the Players Championship, equaling the mark set by World Golf Hall of Famers Greg Norman (1994) and Fred Couples (1992), according to ESPN.com. Castro's opening round included seven birdies and an eagle on the par-five second hole.
He went to the clubhouse with a score of nine under and the Day 1 lead over Zach Johnson and Rory McIlroy, both of whom were six under (with other golfers still on the course).
Here's what he had to say about his opening round (via ESPN):
I hit it close a lot...I hit a couple of gimmes on the back, but really birdies on 17 and 18 got things going. I hit a 4-iron close on 18 to kick in almost. So from there, it was kind of off to the races.
The last two weeks I've hit the ball really nicely, I have not gotten the scores out of it. But a lot of greens in regulation, lot of fairways hit, lot of quality shots, so I thought that would be a good thing coming into this week where you have to hit it nice and solid, nice and straight.
Castro did not play in the 2013 Masters, but he showed the field on Thursday that he's a threat for the other three majors later this year. Castro missed the cut at the U.S. Open in 2012—his only major championship appearance to date.
He's loving his first career appearance at TPC Sawgrass.
Starting on the 10th hole in the opening round, Castro made a birdie on the 11th that got his day rolling. He finished with five of his seven birdies on the front nine, including a dandy on one of the toughest holes on the PGA Tour—the "Island Green" at No. 17.
He followed that up with an eagle on the second hole and completed his scoring total with a birdie on the sixth before parring out on the final three holes to end his day.
The 27-year-old Castro was a former standout at Georgia Tech, and his best PGA Tour finish so far this year is 21st at the Tampa Bay Championship in March.
A Houston native, Castro will have a tall task ahead of himself to sustain his opening round throughout the final three days of action in Florida. He will try to follow the path of Norman, who ended up winning the 1994 Players Championship after his record-setting opening round.