2022 Travelers Championship leaderboard: Rory McIlroy stands out with more big names competing

The birds have been flying all day at TPC River Highlands as the 2022 Travelers Championship kicks off Thursday. Leading the attack, both on and off the court, was none other than world number two Rory McIlroy. Signing an 8-under 62, the Northern Irish put themselves on top of another leaderboard.

Triumphant just two weeks ago at the Canadian Open, he did nothing “disappointing” with a fifth-placed US Open to sway the morale of the 21-time PGA Tour winner. Entering this tournament as a betting favourite, McIlroy’s rate shrank dramatically from 9-1 to 9/4 at Caesars Sportsbook as he and co-leader JT Poston had a one-stroke advantage over Xander Schauffele and Martin Laird.

“Anytime you start with a score of 62, you’re going to take it,” said McIlroy, who has played 62 games on his lowest run this season. “I feel like the start I got was kind of slow. I made the two holes in the back, nine holes you should do, 13 and 15, then made a nice one at 18 to turn into a 3-lower. Then once I went on the front side there I started to really feel it and started digging in some hits and hitting some quality shots… Overall a good round of golf and a great start.”

McIlroy wasn’t the only star to shine in the opening round of the Travelers’ Championship. Schauffele was brilliant from tee to green on his way to 63, and his best friend Patrick Cantlay was sharp in the afternoon with a score of 64. While they thrived, Jordan Spieth dwindled and found himself at five with plenty of work to do just to vacation. weekend.

Leader

1 – Rory McIlroy (-8): The Travelers Championship marks McIlroy’s fourth consecutive week of competition because he hasn’t taken a break since the week following the PGA Championship. As such, there have been discussions about potential fatigue both in the tournament as well as after his opening 62. This is nothing new for the 33-year-old as he plans to put his full strength behind the remaining 54 holes before taking some well-deserved leave.

“I didn’t hit any golf balls on Mondays and Tuesdays. I flew back to Florida for one day, spent the night in my bed, came back on Tuesday, didn’t show up on the field, and then [Wednesday] McIlroy said: “The pro’s playing in the rain wasn’t a really great preparation, but I feel – I played really well in Brooklyn. I’m not going to lose it in a couple of days. I knew my game was good. I think at this point it’s just – the energy levels are fine. I’m feeling a little bit of the weather, but it’s just focus at this point. I have three more rounds left until two weeks off and getting ready for the Open Championship. I’m going to put everything into those three rounds.”

The other competitors

T2. Xander Shaveli and Martin Laird (-7)

T5. Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Charles Howell III (-6)

T8. Matthew Nesmith and Cameron Davis (-5)

T10. Harris English, Wyndham Clark, Hank Lebuda, William McGuert and Keith Mitchell (-4)

From a statistical standpoint, Schauffele was the most impressive as he finished second in strokes and earned a tee to the green on Thursday. We’ll get to Schauffele, but I wanted to touch on Simpson, who is slowly but surely turning into some form. After winning today’s round in the third round of the PGA Championship, the 36-year-old went on to finish tied for 20th and then collected a Top 30 result the following week in the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Signing a stealth-free 64, Simpson is well placed to compete for his first PGA Tour title since the 2020 RBC Heritage. Two years after his last wins and ascent to number four in the official golf rankings, the world number 60 now has a fantastic opportunity to get back into his winning ways.

“Yes, it was a great start,” Simpson said. “It was a fun day.” “No ghost. I can’t remember the last time I had a ghost-free ride, so it was a nice feeling. I tried to make a ghost last time, but it was choppy. But you know, it wasn’t easy. The wind was spinning. It’s picking up some The thing is now. So, I feel good and solid all around.”

Xander hits all 18 greens in regulation

It was an excellent day for the five-time PGA Tour winner and current Olympic gold medalist. After scoring 18 out of 18 on the list, Schauffele eventually signed on to 63, one of the leaders emerged. In what may be the most shocking stat on the PGA Tour, Schauffele has not won a singles stroke play event since his 2017 debut at the Greenbrier Classic, and he hopes to change that over the next three days.

“I’ve practically done it at home, but it’s completely different, obviously, with some kind of crosswind,” Shaveli said of hitting every green in the regulations. “Sometimes it’s okay. I think number 9 is a good example, if you go past the green on the right, it won’t be difficult, so there are points here where it is okay to miss the green and be on the sidelines.”

Travelers Championship odds, picks

Here’s a look at the updated odds after 18 holes of play, via Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Rory McIlroy: 9/4
  • Patrick Cantlay: 5-1
  • Xander Shaveli: 5-1
  • Webb Simpson: 14-1
  • Scotty Scheffler: 16-1
  • GT Boston: 16-1
  • Keith Mitchell: 22-1
  • Martin Laird: 28-1
  • Charles Howell III: 35-1
  • Sheamus Power 35-1
  • Cam Davis: 40-1

Pricing at the top of the market is somewhat aggressive but that shouldn’t be surprising given the value of the name. Having McIlroy, Cantlay, Schauffele and Scheffler can be daunting, but it provides a solid opportunity to load players down the board. Harris English (-4) at 80-1 is getting a lot of attention as the defending champion returned to competition two weeks ago in the Memorial Tournament after undergoing hip surgery in the winter.

He missed the cut in Jack’s place but was present over the weekend at the US Open and even ranked within the top 15 in strokes he gained in the two intermediate rounds. From a hits perspective, the shot was not impressive on Thursday, but the raw data was solid as it permeated the passes and greens in regulation. Maybe it’s still too early for my English, but I’d rather be early for the party than miss the cake completely.

Rick Gehmann and Patrick MacDonald sum up Thursday’s events at the Travelers Championship. Go ahead and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcast And the spotify.

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