Denny McCarthy leads Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott after the opening day of the Travelers Championship, with world No 1 Scottie Scheffler in fourth place; Rory McIlroy fired the first hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career en route to an opening-round 69; watch all weekend on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 23/06/23 12:01am
Rory McIlroy makes an incredible hole-in-one on the par-three eighth during the first round of the Travelers Championship
Denny McCarthy held a two-shot lead after a low-scoring opening round at the Travelers Championship, while Rory McIlroy fired the first hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career.
McCarthy carded 10 birdies in a stunning bogey-free 60 on the par-70 layout at TPC River Highlands, the venue that saw Jim Furyk’s historic ’58 round’ in 2016, to top the leaderboard ahead of major winners Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley.
McIlroy was joined by Xander Schauffele and US Open champion Wyndham Clark at two under, with the former world No 1 posting a hole-in-one on the par-three eighth, with five birdies and five bogeys during the an important first round.
McCarthy opened with four straight birdies and two putts from 60 feet to get another at the 15th, driving the par-four green, then started his second nine on a run of three in a row that birdie.
The American stood up and stepped off the sixth green to add a ninth birdie of the day and move into the solo lead, before narrowly missing his approach to the final green to post a closing birdie.
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Scott made four birdies in five holes from the second and canceled out a bogey at the seventh by getting a shot at the ninth, seeing him turn 31, then moved up the leaderboard by firing five consecutive next birdie from the 11th.
The 2013 Masters champion saw his hopes of a sub-60 round end when he hit the water with his approach on the par-five 17th, though the Australian birdieed the final to join Bradley on eight. down.
Bradley threatened a historic round of his own when – starting on the back nine – he birdied his first five holes and added three more in five holes from the 17th, with 2011 PGA champion canceled a bogey at the fifth by draining a 20-footer at the seventh.
Scottie Scheffler’s opening-round 63, which put him in fourth place, included four birdies in the last six holes, while Shane Lowry was within four of the early lead after also making a flawless start. in his 64.
McIlroy’s ace was part of a mixed start
McIlroy rolled in a 10-foot birdie at the second but missed an opportunity from half distance at the next, with the world No 3 bogeying his next two holes and falling to par until his brilliance on the par-three eighth.
“Five iron to 215 yards, a little bit back into the wind on the right,” McIlroy explained. “As far as hole-in-ones go, I’ve had them before where it’s a good shot and you get a little lucky.
McIlroy reacts to his first round at the Travelers Championship, which included his first hole-in-one on the PGA Tour
“That was the best shot of the day that I hit. Obviously it was a bonus for it to go into the hole, but it was really cool. I had been playing pretty average up until that point and felt like the hole-in-one I got . little.”
McIlroy nearly chipped his next approach out of a bunker to putt a tap-in birdie, the first of back-to-back victories at the turn, only to bogey the par-five 13th after finding water from the tee.
He responded with back-to-back birdies from the 14th, before two bogeys in his final three holes saw him card a 68 and fall eight strokes behind McCarthy at the top of the leaderboard.
Watch the Travelers Championship all weekend live on Sky Sports. Early coverage continues on Friday from midday via the red button on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of full coverage from 8pm on Sky Sports Golf.