It was agony and ecstasy for two of England's stars at golf's richest event, the Players Championship, on Thursday.
The ecstasy belonged to Ian Poulter, whose seven-under-par 65 set a target matched late in the day by Scot Martin Laird.
The agony was Paul Casey's. Out for more than two months after dislocating his shoulder snowboarding on Christmas Eve, he was struggling with it again and after taking 42 to the turn withdrew on the next.
It not only ended his hopes of a first prize of well over £1million, but was a further blow to his chances of playing in the Ryder Cup this September.
He was not alone in that. Simon Dyson pulled out with back trouble after a 76.
Casey said: "My shoulder felt tired and tender when I made my way to the first tee.
"I decided to give it a go as I thought I could play through it, but during the round it flared up, which is when I decided to withdraw.
"I am very disappointed. My game has been coming around and I felt confident, but my body told me otherwise.
"My recent schedule has been extremely busy and the lack of rest has taken its toll. It's a long season and my health is the number one priority."
Poulter, runner-up to Swede Henrik Stenson three years ago, knocked two strokes off his previous best score on the course and described it as one of the top 10 rounds of his career.
He and Laird, who kept a bogey off his card, were a stroke ahead of little-known American Blake Adams, but Tiger Woods was nine strokes back and in danger of a second successive missed cut - something he has never suffered before.
Woods was just outside the top 100 as the day's play drew towards it close and said: "Any kind of momentum that I would build I would shoot myself in the foot on the very next hole.
"For some reason it's just been one of those weird deals. Out here (on tour) you have to take care of the par fives and I haven't done a very good job of it lately.
"It was frustrating in the sense that my good shots ended up in bad spots and obviously my bad shots ended up in worse spots.
"In the last few months I've put together some good rounds and won a couple tournaments, so it's there - I just need to continue doing it."
As for Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood - battling for world number one - it was a day of mixed fortunes.
McIlroy, who went top again by being in a play-off at Quail Hollow last week, was going best until he went in the water on the short 17th.
Angel Cabrera had put three balls in there earlier on and ran up a nine. McIlroy took five and finished with a 72 like Donald, who birdied the same hole, while Westwood matched Phil Mickelson's 71 with a round that included seven birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey on the seventh.
Poulter said: "I played lovely. I hit it really, really solid."
He also had nine one-putts in a row from the ninth - that helps.
"You have to hit the right shot at the right time - it's a very, very difficult course and tests you to the highest."
Laird improved his best score on the lay-out by five and put that down to his putting.
"I finally made some," the United States-based Glaswegian said. "I've always struggled before.
"I was quietly confident going out. I'm not saying I thought I would shoot seven under, but I thought I could play well."
Padraig Harrington handed in a 69, although he reckoned he scored better than he actually played, but Justin Rose laboured to a 76 and Graeme McDowell, who lost a three-shot lead on the final day last year, was alongside Woods.
Collated first round scores in the USPGA Tour THE PLAYERS Championship, The TPC at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Florida, United States of America
(USA unless stated, par 72):
65 Martin Laird (Sco), Ian Poulter (Eng)
66 Blake Adams
67 Kevin Na, Ben Crane
68 Brian Davis (Eng), Adam Scott (Aus), Ben Curtis, Matt Kuchar, Harrison Frazar, Michael Thompson, Kevin Stadler, Bill Haas, Sang-moon Bae (Kor), Jonathan Byrd, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven)
69 Brendon De Jonge, Kris Blanks, Pat Perez, David Toms, David Hearn (Can), J.J Killeen, Arjun Atwal (Ind), Sean O'Hair, Johnson Wagner, Padraig Harrington (Irl), Ryan Moore
70 Robert Karlsson (Swe), George McNeill, Jeff Maggert, Zach Johnson, Tim Herron, John Merrick, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Tom Gillis, Harris English
71 Chris Kirk, Nick Watney, Brian Gay, Graham Delaet (Can), Bo Van Pelt, Jimmy Walker, Lee Westwood (Eng), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Rodney Pampling (Aus), Stewart Cink, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Phil Mickelson, Charlie Wi (Kor), J J Henry, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe), Tim Clark (Rsa), Carl Pettersson (Swe), Josh Teater
72 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Scott Stallings, Chris Couch, Chez Reavie, Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Chad Campbell, David Mathis, Rickie Fowler, Bryce Molder, Retief Goosen (Rsa), Joe Ogilvie, Davis Love III, Greg Chalmers (Aus), Kevin Streelman, Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Brendan Steele, Keegan Bradley, John Rollins, Robert Allenby (Aus), Trevor Immelman (Rsa), Jim Furyk, Luke Donald (Eng), Scott Verplank
73 Robert Garrigus, Sergio Garcia (Spa), Ryan Palmer, Martin Kaymer (Ger), Heath Slocum, James Driscoll, John Mallinger, Webb Simpson, Peter Hanson (Swe), Bob Estes, Vijay Singh (Fij), Marc Leishman (Aus), Ken Duke, Brandt Jobe, Chris Stroud, Kyle Stanley, Jason Dufner, Chris Di Marco, Scott Piercy, Brian Harman, Jason Day (Aus), Cameron Tringale
74 Spencer Levin, Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell (NIrl), Lucas Glover, John Senden (Aus), Michael Bradley, Nick O'Hern (Aus), Kevin Chappell, Mark Wilson, Hunter Mahan, Ricky Barnes, J.B. Holmes, Ernie Els (Rsa), Tommy Gainey
75 Bud Cauley, Justin Leonard, Sung Kang (Kor), K J Choi (Kor), Ryuji Imada (Jpn), John Huh (Kor), Camilo Villegas (Col), Matt Bettencourt
76 Steve Stricker, Rory Sabbatini (Rsa), Justin Rose (Eng), Andres Romero (Arg), Brandt Snedeker, Briny Baird, Charles Howell III
77 Matthew Every, Gary Woodland
78 Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Jeff Overton
79 Charley Hoffman, Colt Knost, Billy Mayfair, Troy Matteson
80 Tom Pernice Jnr., Y.E. Yang (Kor), D.J. Trahan
82 Jerry Kelly
WD: Simon Dyson (Eng) 76, Angel Cabrera (Arg) 78