Spieth and McIlroy off to quick start at Travelers Championship

Kristopher Nichols
June 30, 2018

Zack Johnson shot a first-round 63 to take an early lead at the Travelers Championship in CT.

Harman finished a stroke ahead of Matt Jones and first round co-leader Zach Johnson, who lost a stroke during his round of 68 when his birdie putt hung on the lip of the cup at the third hole for longer than the maximum allowed 10 seconds before falling in, giving him a par.

"Just that celebration in general, I blacked out", Spieth said. His round was done in by a shaky performance on the green; he hit the ball 340 yards on average off the tee and missed just one green in regulation. "I had a lot of loft in my hand, lot of wedges in my hand".

"I have four weeks into Carnoustie and it's all about getting my head in the right place".

Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey and Russell Henley were two strokes back going into the weekend.

Spieth, who also made an early exit at last week's US Open, made three birdies in four holes from the 12th before hooking a three-wood into the water at the driveable 15th and carding his lone bogey of the day, although he did respond immediately by draining a 20-foot putt for birdie at 16.

Blaming his course management for most of his mistakes, he felt he hit the ball better than he had on Thursday.

"You can't hit that shot and then not make that putt", he said. "I felt like overall last week and had some stuff to do at the beginning of this week, so didn't exactly get the normal preparation I would get in, but that's what I have this afternoon for, and by this afternoon I feel like I'll be in pretty good shape". "That's as good an up and down as I've ever witnessed or performed".

Lanto Griffin and two-time Travelers champion Bubba Watson were at even par coming into Friday.

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The out-of-bounds to which he referred was at the par-five 13th, where he ran up an ugly eight after compounding his wild tee shot by finding a pond with his fourth. That crowed followed and Spieth put on a show. "Today I started out hotter".

Johnson tied his career best by making six consecutive birdies on holes 11 through 16. Then on the par five sixth hole, Spieth reminded everyone of the moment from one year ago.

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"I definitely helps, Thomas said".

Fowler and Leishman have been playing solid and would love another good week before crossing over to Scotland for the Open Championship. "You've just got to go out and execute".

"I'm trying to get back to the way I swung in 2010, 2011. I think the PGA Tour, specifically this tournament, does a great job in that". I was just in a weird mood today.

Jordan Spieth is the reigning champion of the Open Championship.

Spieth, buoyed by a 30-foot eagle from a bunker at the par-five sixth, was almost flawless apart from a bogey at the par-four 15th, where he hooked his tee shot into a pond that was so far left it surprised the group waiting on the nearby 16th tee.

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