First-timers face Players' Stadium Course

By Matt Kingston - Sports photographer/producer
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For 15 golfers competing at The Players for the first time this week, getting your confidence going on this challenging course can be an issue.

Not if you are Patrick Reed. A three-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, Reed said that there is no room for doubt on the Stadium Course, especially on the 17th hole.

"It's only a short iron. Step up, make a swing, get tunnel vision and execute," Reed said.

Executing hasn't been a problem for first-timer Russell Knox recently. The former Jacksonville University Dolphin and Jacksonville resident is one of only two first-timers to qualify on points from his play last year.

"It's been a dream of mine to play in this tournament since I came to JU in 2003," Knox said.

Knox says being able to sleep and eat at home is a big advantage this week, as well as having friends and family around, but doesn't expect that to translate to more fans watching him on the course. "I expect the same people that were watching me on the tour here are going to be the only ones watching me here."

Knox tees off tomorrow at 2:21 p.m. off of the 10th tee.  Reed begins his Players Championship at 8:08 a.m. off of 10 as well.

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