William McGirt made a pair of eagles on the back nine and shot a 5-under 67 to take the early lead in The Players Championship.

McGirt finished with a bogey; tough finishes were the norm on a steamy day at the TPC Sawgrass.

Defending champion Jason Day, winless since his victory at The Players last year, was 5 under through 11 holes until he dropped shots on three of his last four holes for a 70. Rickie Fowler, the winner two years ago, also was tied for the lead until he hit a shot off the cart path and into the trees and made double bogey on his 15th hole. He also shot 70.

J.B. Holmes and Alex Noren were at 68.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson played in the afternoon.