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Russell Henley, a year wiser, learns his way around the TPC Sawgrass with 65

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    Lee Westwood of England, hits onto the ninth green during the first round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Thursday, May 8, 2014 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)The Associated Press

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    Sergio Garcia of Spain, hits from the 18th fairway during the first round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Thursday, May 8, 2014 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)The Associated Press

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    Jordan Spieth watches his shot from the fifth tee during the first round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)The Associated Press

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.