Roberto Castro leads after Round 1

Sam Greenwood

18 holes down at The Players Championship and Tech grad, Roberto Castro, has a 3 shot grip of the lead, as well as his name in the record books.

Roberto Castro walked off the 18th green on Thursday with a 9-under 63, etching his name next to two of the world's best for the course record at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Those other two players tied for the course record are Fred Couples and Greg Norman, both of which have been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Let's just say, 63 is not too shabby there on this course.

TPC Sawgrass annually hosts one of the PGA Tours top tournaments, The Players Championship. The Players is often referred to as the "Fifth Major", due to the fact is provides the highest purse of any tournament in golf at $9.5 million - $1,710,000 going to the first place winner. Last year, Tech grad Matt Kuchar won the event and walked away with the big bucks. Georgia Tech Golf is looking to hold onto this victory for a second time with Roberto Castro and Matt Kuchar in the hunt.

Roberto Castro graduated from Georgia Tech in 2007 with a 3.82 GPA and a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering. While he was at Tech, the golf team was at one of its all time high's- ranked the #1 collegiate golf program in the country his sophomore year by Golf Magazine. In 2004, Castro was named ACC Rookie of the Year. He was also named first-team All American in 2005. Along with his Tech accolades, Castro captained the 2005 U.S. Palmer Cup team, defeating Europe 14-10. He also completed in the Palmer Cup in 2006. The Palmer Cup is the annual college competition between the US and Europe.

Robert Castro is only a sophomore PGA tour player, having played 3 years in the eGolf Professional Tour followed by a year and a half in the Nationwide Tour. Castro might be relatively new to the PGA Leaderboard on Sundays, having never won a PGA event. However, he is not unfamiliar with low scores, with another 63 as well as a 65 Round 1 score earlier this year. Before Thursday, Castro had missed 3 our of the past 5 cuts. He hasn't seen a top 20 finish since February. His best performance this year was at the Humana Challenge, where he finished his 3rd Round tied for second, before dropping to T-37 on Sunday. Regardless of his past performance, Castro seemed to put all of that behind him on Thursday.

Before his record round on Wednesday, he grouped up with Kuchar and Geoff Ogilvy to play a practice round. As for what gave him this lead after Day 1, all I could say is I sat on my couch watching the round was, "I don't want to play a 'Closest to the Pin' competition with him." One of Castro's Round 1 group members, Jimmy Walker, told The Golf Channel, "Roberto hit it inside of 3 feet six times today, one of which was for Eagle." These approaches made all the difference for Castro today. One of his most memorable approaches coming on the Signature 17th, "Island Green", where he left a 1 foot kick in for birdie. This same hole has given the best of champions some tough times.

Another key stat for Castro in Round 1 was his putting, only needing 26 putts to finish his round. This is something that he has had a difficulty in recently. Many of you are probably thinking, "Hey, I have the same putting problem. How did he make the change?" Well if you are looking to improve your putting like Castro, use his 38" Taylormade Daddy Long Legs putter that he recently changed to.

While Roberto Castro might be a professional golfer, he is also similar to those on FTRS.. And no, I'm not talking about fans of Georgia Tech. He contributes to a blog of his own, What do the FTRS fans think, should we take him on as another writer?

Do you think Castro can follow up Kuchar's 2012 Players victory and keep the trophy in a Tech player's hand?

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