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First timers get ready for the stadium course
First timers get ready for the stadium course

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – There is a first time for everything.

For 25 PGA Tour golfers, they are about to take on the toughest field in golf for their first time at The Players Championship.

There haven't been this many golfers playing The Players for the first time in years, but if you ask them, their lack of tournament experience on the stadium course is not going to be an issue.

"Growing up in Tallahassee and coming here for the tournament, I'm pretty familiar with the course," said first-timer Hudson Swafford. "It's the best I've seen it shape-wise, the weather is going to be good so it's going get firmer and faster. I'm really looking forward to the challenge."

One challenge that first-timer Steve Wheatcroft will overcome is a good nights sleep. The Jacksonville resident is going to sleep in his own bed this week, something of a luxury when you are on the PGA Tour.

"I've played here a couple hundred times, this has been my home course for about 10 years now, so I'm excited to be here, hopefully I can get into contention and get the local crowd revved up here," Wheatcroft said.

Another local first-timer that can get the home crowd fired up is Harold Varner III. The PGA Tour rookie said that even though he has plenty of rounds on the course, he is still going to seek out advice from the vets.

"I'm going to play with Greame McDowell today, so I'm sure I'll ask him a few things," Varner said. "Mainly where to be and where not to be. I've been everywhere out here so I'm looking forward to it."

Varner isn't the only first-timer that is leaning on some veteran players for advice. Sea Island resident Patton Kizrie said that former Players champion Davis Love III has been very helpful this week.

"I don't like to ask a lot of questions, I like to watch and see and learn through that. It's certainly a place you need to know exactly what you are doing," Kirzie said.