Denny McCarthy took the lead at the Travelers Championship after an exceptional performance, shooting a 10-under 60 in the first round. Although he narrowly missed shooting a 59, McCarthy's score marked the lowest round of his PGA TOUR career. Other notable players, including Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott, also made strong runs at the course's record-low score but fell short, finishing with impressive rounds of 62. Scottie Scheffler, the top-ranked player in the world, carded a solid 7-under 63.
Starting on the back nine, McCarthy got off to a blazing start, recording five birdies in his first six holes and adding five more on his way in. His final birdie on the ninth hole came after a remarkable approach shot that nearly found the cup, leaving spectators in awe. McCarthy sank a 5-foot putt to secure the birdie.
Adam Scott had a strong round going at 9 under, but a second shot that found the lake on the 17th hole resulted in a double bogey. Despite the setback, Scott finished with a birdie on the 18th hole, concluding his round with a commendable 62.
Shane Lowry, Eric Cole, and the 2019 champion Chez Reavie all finished with impressive bogey-free rounds of 64. The day saw a total of eight players shooting 65, while an impressive 91 players managed to break par.
The TPC River Highlands is known for its low scoring, with several players having achieved remarkable scores in the past. Jim Furyk set the course record with a 58 in 2016, and both Patrick Cantlay and Mackenzie Hughes shot 60 in previous years. Unfortunately, Hughes was forced to withdraw after shooting 76 due to illness.
Keegan Bradley made an incredible 75-foot downhill putt on the 17th hole that hit the flagstick and dropped into the cup, showcasing his skill and adding excitement to the morning session. Bradley, a native of Vermont, couldn't help but think about matching Furyk's record after that remarkable putt.
The highlight of the day came from Rory McIlroy, who made his first hole-in-one on the PGA TOUR. His tee shot on the 214-yard eighth hole landed perfectly below the hole and rolled in for an ace. McIlroy, coming off a strong showing at the U.S. Open, finished the round with a 2-under 68.
Wyndham Clark, fresh off his U.S. Open victory, also had a solid round, shooting a 68. The Denver native, who secured his first PGA TOUR win at the Wells Fargo Championship last month, admitted to feeling emotional after being introduced as the U.S. Open champion on the first tee.
This year, the Travelers Championship has elevated its status among PGA TOUR events, with the purse increased from $8.3 million to an impressive $20 million, attracting top talent and making it an even more exciting competition.
Overall, the first round of the Travelers Championship showcased exceptional performances and low scores, setting the stage for an exciting and highly competitive tournament ahead.