Saturday, May 18, 2024

Golf: McCarthy grabs a two-shot lead in opening round at Travelers Champs

Denny McCarthy flirted with a chance of shooting a 59 but settled for a 10-under 10 to grab a two-shot lead in the opening round of the 20 million dollar Travelers Championship, here.

Adding to the excitement was Rory McIlroy making his first ace on the PGA TOUR on a day of low numbers.

Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott also had a shot at golf’s magic number of 59, on the very course where Jim Furyk set the PGA TOUR record with a 58 in 2016. Bradley and Scott finally had to settle for 62.

American Indian Sahith Theegala shot 4-under 66 and was Tied-16, while Aaron Rai, whose grandparents have strong Indian connections, shot 67 and was Tied-28th.

Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, finished with a 7-under 63. Wyndham Clark, fresh off his U.S. Open win, shot 68.

The 30-year-old McCarthy, who started on the back nine, had five birdies on his first six holes and five more coming in. His last birdie came on the ninth hole after his 169-yard approach. His shot skirted just left of the cup and then holed the 5-footer for birdie.

Shane Lowry, Eric Cole and the 2019 champion Chez Reavie each finished with bogey-free 64s.

Low scoring was the order of the day as eight players shot 65 and 91 players broke par.

The TPC River Highlands is known for low scoring. In addition to Furyk’s 58, Patrick Cantlay shot 60 as an amateur in 2011 and Mackenzie Hughes matched it in 2020.

The day’s best shot came from McIlroy, whose tee shot on the 214-yard eighth landed just below the hole and rolled into the cup. McIlroy finished with a 2-under 68. It was McIlroy’s second ace in competition. He made one in Abu Dhabi on the DP World Tour in 2015.

The Travelers Championship became one of the PGA TOUR’s elevated events this year, with the purse raised from $8.3 to $20 million.

Kevin Yu was the top Asian at 5-under 65 and is tied eighth alongside Sungjae Im (65).

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