Denny McCarthy leads Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott after the opening day of the Travelers Championship, with world No 1 Scotty Scheffler in fourth; Rory McIlroy shot the first hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career en route to a round 69; Watch all week on Sky Sports Golf
0:01, UK, Friday 23 June 2023
Denny McCarthy has taken a two-shot lead into a low-scoring opening round at the Travelers Championship as Rory McIlroy shot the first hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career.
On the par-70 layout at TPC River Highlands, which saw Jim Furyk’s historic ’round of 58′ in 2016, McCarthy carded 10 birdies in a stunning bogey-free 60 to move ahead of major winners Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley.
McIlroy is two under with Xander Schauffele and US Open champion Wyndham Clark, the former world No. 1 with a hole-in-one at the par-three eighth, five birdies and five bogeys in an eventful first round.
McCarthy opened with four straight birdies and birdied another 2-footer from 60 feet on the 15th, drove the par-four green, then started his second nine with a run of three birdies.
The American got up and down from the sixth green, added his ninth birdie of the day to move into a solo lead, nearly jamming his approach onto the final green to set up the final birdie.
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Scott made four birdies in five holes from the second, canceled out a bogey at the seventh, picked up a shot at the ninth to see him return to 31, then fired five consecutive birdies from the 11th to move up the leaderboard.
The 2013 Masters champion saw his hopes of a sub-60 round end when he found water on his approach to the par-five 17th, although the Australian was tied with Bradley at eight feet for the last.
Bradley threatened himself with a historic round — starting on the back nine — as he birdied his first five holes and added three more in a five-hole stretch at the 17th, before the 2011 PGA champion canceled out a bogey at the fifth hole with a drain. 20-foot in seven.
Scotty Scheffler’s opening-round 63 put him in fourth place, including four birdies in the last six holes, while Shane Lowry is fourth in the early lead after a flawless start with his 64.
McIlroy’s ace part of the mixed start
McIlroy rolled in a 10-foot birdie at the second but missed an opportunity from half-distance at the next, as the world No. 3 bogeyed his next two holes and slipped to par until his moment of brilliance at the par-three eighth.
„Five-iron to 215 yards, right slightly back into the wind,” McIlroy explained. “As far as hole-in-ones go, I’ve had them in the past where it’s an OK shot and you’re a little lucky.
„That was the best shot of the day that I hit. It was obviously a bonus that it went into the hole, but it was pretty cool. I had been playing average up until that point and I felt like that hole let me go. A little bit.”
McIlroy launched his next approach from the bunker to set up a tap-in birdie, only to bogey the par-five 13th after finding water off the tee.
He responded with successive birdies from the 14th, before two bogeys in his last three holes saw him card a 68 and fall eight strokes behind McCarthy at the top of the leaderboard.
You can watch the Travelers Championship live all week on Sky Sports. Early coverage continues from midday on Friday via the red button on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of full coverage from 8pm on Sky Sports Golf.
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