Castro opens with a 63 in Players debut

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Roberto Castro watches his shot from the first fairway during the first round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Roberto Castro made his debut Thursday in The Players Championship by joining Fred Couples and Greg Norman in the record book.

Castro did everything right on a gorgeous morning at the TPC Sawgrass and had a 9-under 63 to tie the course record. He missed a birdie putt from just outside 12 feet. For someone who had never played the Stadium Course, Castro made it look easy. His 9-iron onto the island green at the 17th settled a foot away, and he hit a 4-iron to a foot on the 18th.

Conditions were ideal for scoring, with several players taking advantage.

Hunter Mahan had a 67. Rory McIlroy, who had never broken par in three previous times playing this event, was 6 under with three holes to play.