He now joins four others with Sawgrass rounds of 63.
"I felt like it handcuffed me", McIlroy said. "He attacks the golf course, he's very powerful off the tee".
"It was just a fun day and it's rare, as a golfer, when everything comes together".
"It was nice, I made some putts today, that was basically the difference", Woods said.
It was just wonderful, said Spieth, who played with McIlroy and Thomas. He tied for fourth.
Lahiri has made six cuts in nine starts, but not finished inside top-25 this year. Speaking with CNN, Rickie Fowler shared his personal feelings about the event.
Johnson missed just one green in regulation, rolling in six birdies for an early share of the lead with former US Open champion Webb Simpson and Sweden's Alex Noren.
Woods won the event in 2001 and 2013. He has never missed the cut.
But we've had a good run of weather and the Stadium Course is playing firm and fast, and that's when the course is at its toughest. That, more than anything else, should worry the players behind him.
With 80 players making the cut at the Players, the field with be trimmed after 54 holes for the second time in two weeks on the PGA Tour.
"I felt more comfortable driving the ball and being a little more aggressive off the tees and getting it down there, squeezing it around some of these corners and consequently I had a lot of nine-irons on down". I want to be out here, but it's fun to win. This time around, the Players will reward its champion with a $1.89 million payday, part of its $10.5 million total purse.
Spain's Rahm is four under, while American three-time major victor Spieth struggled to a three-over 75. "The weekend changes. Coming off last week's win gives you a lot of confidence going forward because you know you can close even though you don't have your best stuff".
Lahiri, ranked exactly no. 100, will be trying to stay inside the world's top-100 while playing the PGA Tour, courtesy his full playing rights.
In 2000 it became the first tournament in golf to pay its victor a seven-figure prize, beating all four Majors to the milestone.
"If you're on your game, this course suits you", Kuchar said. "I don't think any lead is safe". In fact, with two more birdies, an inconceivable round of 59 was even in play. "You can struggle with your swing and struggle with your putting, but if your mental side is on point, you're going to have a chance to win every week". But 17 is a hard hole to get through. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch both channels live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.