Travelers Championship 2022 Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy sits at the top with most big names in contention

Travelers Championship 2022 Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy sits at the top with most big names in contention

Birds flew all day at TPC River Highlands as the 2022 Travelers Championship kicked off on Thursday. Leading the charge, both on and off the field, was none other than World No. 2 Rory McIlroy. Signing for an 8-under 62 with no bogeys, the Northern Irishman has moved to the top of yet another leaderboard.

Victorious just two weeks ago at the Canadian Open, a “disappointing” top-five finish at the US Open has done nothing to dampen the spirits of the 21-time PGA Tour winner. Coming into this tournament as the betting favourite, McIlroy’s price has dropped considerably from 9-1 to 9/4 at Caesars Sportsbook, as he and co-leader JT Poston hold a slim one-shot lead over Xander Schauffele and Martin Laird.

“Any time you start with a 62, you’re going to take it,” said McIlroy, whose 62 coincided with his lowest round of the season. “I feel like the start I got to was a little slow in a way. I birdied both holes on the back nine that you should, 13 and 15, and then I did a good one on the 18th to become 3-under. Then, once I started to get going there, that’s when I really started to feel it and started to sink some putts and hit some quality shots…all in all, it was a really good round of golf and a great start.”

McIlroy wasn’t the only star to shine in the first round of the Travelers Championship. Schauffele was terrific from tee to green en route to his 63, and his good friend Patrick Cantlay was ready in the afternoon with a 64. While they thrived, Jordan Spieth dwindled and finds himself at 5 more with a lot of work to do just to do is for the weekend.

Leader

1. Rory McIlroy (-8): The Travelers Championship marks McIlroy’s fourth straight week of competition, as he hasn’t taken a break since the week after the PGA Championship. As such, there were discussions of possible fatigue both before the tournament and after his first 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 time. well deserved free

“I didn’t hit a golf ball Monday and Tuesday. I flew back to Florida for one day, spent the night in my own bed, flew back Tuesday, didn’t come to the course, and then [Wednesday] playing the pro-am in the rain wasn’t really great preparation, but I feel like I played well at Brookline,” McIlroy said. “I’m not going to lose it in two days. I knew my game was good. I think at this point it’s just that the energy levels are okay. I feel a little bad, but it’s just concentration right now. I have three more rounds left until I have a couple of weeks off and prepare for The Open Championship. I’m going to put everything into those three rounds.”

other contenders

T2. Xander Schauffele 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 Lebioda, William McGirt and Keith Mitchell (-4)

From a statistical standpoint, Schauffele was the most impressive as he ranked second in strokes gained from tee to green on Thursday. We will get to Schauffele, but I wanted to refer to Simpson, who is slowly becoming somewhat. After winning round of the day in the third round of the PGA Championship, the 36-year-old finished tied for 20th and then posted a top-30 finish the following week at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Signing up for a bogey-free 64, Simpson is well-positioned to challenge for his first PGA Tour title since the 2020 RBC Heritage. Two years after his most recent triumph and rising as high as fourth in the Official World Golf Rankings. , the now World No. 60 has a fantastic opportunity to get back to his winning ways.

“Yeah, it was a great start… It was a fun day,” Simpson said. “No bogeys. I can’t remember the last time I had a round without bogeys, so it feels good. I tried to bogey the last one, but I had ups and downs. But you know, it wasn’t easy.” The wind was swirling. It’s speeding up a bit right now. So, I would say I feel great, solid all over.”

Xander hits all 18 greens in regulation time

It was an excellent day for the five-time PGA Tour winner and current Olympic gold medalist. Hitting 18 of 18 greens in regulation, Schauffele ultimately shot a 63, one behind the leaders. In what may be the most shocking stat on the PGA Tour, Schauffele hasn’t won a full field individual stroke play event since his first in 2017 at the Greenbrier Classic and he hopes to change that over the course of the next three days. .

“I’ve done it in practice at home, but it’s a totally different thing, obviously, with the wind like a lot of crosswinds,” Schauffele said of hitting every green in regulation. “Sometimes, it’s okay. I think the 9 is a good example, if you go just over the green to the right, it’s not that hard of a putt, so there are places here where it’s okay to miss the green and be on the periphery. “. “

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 Schauffele: 5-1
  • Webb Simpson: 14-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 16-1
  • JT Poston: 16-1
  • Keith Mitchell: 22-1
  • Martin Laird: 28-1
  • Charles Howell III: 35-1
  • Seamus Power 35-1
  • Cam Davis: 40-1

The price at the top of the market is quite aggressive, but it shouldn’t be surprising given the value of the name. The presence of McIlroy, Cantlay, Schauffele and Scheffler can be daunting, but it provides a solid opportunity to load players up the board. Harris English (-4) at 80-1 is of great interest as the defending champion returned to competition a couple of weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament after undergoing hip surgery in the winter.

He missed the cut in Jack’s place, but was around the weekend at the US Open and even cracked the top 15 in strokes gained in the middle two rounds. From a strokes gained perspective, the hitting of the ball wasn’t too impressive Thursday, but the elemental data was solid as he splashed fairways and greens in regulation. It may still be a bit too early for English, but I’d rather get to the party early than miss out on the cake altogether.

Rick Gehman and Patrick McDonald round up Thursday’s action at the Travelers Championship. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts Y Spotify.

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