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  1. ITV Report

Players Championship cancelled after first round

Rory McIlroy carded an even 72 in opening the defence of his title. Credit: Inpho

Rory McIlroy's bid to defend golf's Players Championship at Sawgrass has ended after organisers cancelled the tournament because of the coronavirus.

Organisers had planned to play the last three rounds without spectators. However, a decision was later taken to abandon the tournament, as well as the next three weeks of PGA Tour events.

"At this point - and as the situation continues to rapidly change - the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause," the PGA Tour said in a statement.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama was the first round leader after a superb nine-under 63. Credit: Inpho

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama was the first-round leader after a nine-under 63, which put him two shots in front.

Graeme McDowell shot a four-under-par 68 while world number one McIlroy carded a 72.

Graeme McDowell carded a 4-under 68 after the first round at Sawgrass. Credit: Inpho