Ian Poulter had a lot on his plate this week, most of it was not golf. He and his family spent the majority of the week, getting moved into and settled in to their new home in Lake Nona.
Needless to say; as most know, moving can be stressful in itself. Not to mention, not being able to prepare for the strongest field event of the year on the PGA Tour.
So it may come to a surprise to see Poulter's name sitting atop the leader board; along with Martian Laird, after the opening round of, The Players.
''It's no surprise to me to be fresh in the mind this week, to know that I'm finally in the house and I'm relaxed and the family is happy, and all of the hassle and stress is over and I can just go out and play golf,'' Poulter said. ''And I have felt relaxed this week.''
It may not be the ideal way to prepare for every event. Though after carding a seven-under, 65 in his opening round. The Englishman is certainly in a good spot after the opening 18.
Poulter carded three birdies to just one bogey (his only) on the front side. Before starting the back nine off, with a tear.
Always dapper, the 12-time world wide winner, went on a streak from No. 9 through No. 12, which all resulted in birdies. That quickly shot him up the leader board, to five-under par at the time.
Back-to-back birdies on No. 16 and No. 17 would add to his total, ending in his seven-under, 65 for a share of the lead.
Laird, began his day on the back-nine at TPC Sawgrass.
The Glasgow, Scotland native did not have the birdie streaks that Poulter did, en route to his 65. Although he was able to keep a clean card in his opening round.
The two-time PGA Tour winner was able to fire back-to-back birdies, twice on his opening nine.
Circles came on No. 11 and No. 12. Then again on No. 16 and No. 17.
Laird would spread the birdies around a bit more on his inward nine.
He carded three more on the front side; his back nine, on No.'s 2, 5 and 9 to end with his seven-under, 65. And a share of the lead with Poulter.
The pair take the 18 hole lead heading into Friday with a one shot lead over Blake Adams, as well as a two shot lead over Kevin Na and Ben Crane.