Cromwell, Connecticut – Only nine golfers finished at the US Open last week with an below-average score, and at the golf tournament that annually promotes itself as the toughest and most bumpy event of the season, which it just felt right. As is usually the case, the US Open Plunge and Treadmills were rewarded.
This week, top golfers compete in the Travelers’ Tournament at TPC River Highlands, a course where Jim Furyk scored 58 in 2016. It delivers low scores the way Ronald McDonald delivers burgers.
“It’s like the US Open here. It’s like US Open rehab is coming here,” said Rory McIlroy with a grin after he shot 62 people on Thursday morning. “You’re like, oh, I can actually make some the birds. that’s sweet. Love coming here a week after the US Open. It kind of gives you a chance to score low and go after it, and that’s cool.”
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Over the last two rounds of the US Open, McIlroy made six, but on Thursday, he made eight cards, even with a cold that his daughter, Poppy, brought home from nursery.
“I’m feeling a little bit out of the weather, but it’s just focus at this point,” McIlroy said. “I have three more rounds left until two weeks off and getting ready for the Open Championship. I will put everything in those three rounds.”
Off the ropes, McIlroy was one of the PGA Tour’s most vocal supporters and commissioner, Jay Monahan, who announced on Wednesday that the PGA Tour would make major changes to the regular season structure and FedEx Cup system starting in 2024 Monahan also said significant increases in prize money are being made for eight top-tier tournaments. level in 2023.
When McIlroy was asked to comment on the re-start of the season to January, and other changes discussed by Manahan, the four-time main winner and currently number two in the world, was supportive.
“Everyone has the same opportunity to hold the big events with the grand prize fund,” McIlroy said. “I think it would make it more competitive and make it a more compelling product, frankly. I think it would be good.”
Normally, an opening round 62 like McIlroy would create distance between the leader and the rest of the field, but not in the Travelers Championship.
Xander Schauffele plays a shot off the third hole fairway during the first round of the Travelers Championship golf. Mandatory credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
2020 Olympic gold medalist Zander Shoffeli played a team lead ahead of McIlroy, shooting 63 and hitting 18 out of 18 in regulation for the first time as a professional.
“Teen to teen won this tournament. If you finish in your teens, you’re in pretty good place for the week,” Shaveli said, and he’s right. Last season, Harris defeated English Cramer Hickok in an eight-game playoff Drill after the two players ended in a draw at -13. The previous year, Dustin Johnson won at -19.
“If it’s still mushy, it could be less than that week,” Shaveli added. After playing the US Open [where] You’ve been kind of hitting yourself all week, and then you’ve taken a pretty bad shot on a day like today and your ball might still be in the green and not roll to the ankle. I think mentally he’s a little more forgiving.”
Martin Laird, a 39-year-old Scotsman who now calls his Scottsdale, Arizona home, faced Shaveli with a 63 shot Thursday morning, while Charles Howell shot a 64, and Webb Simpson, who played with McIlroy, also shot a 64.