McIlroy makes solid start at TPC river highlands

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland has equalled his lowest opening round on the PGA Tour to take a share of the lead at the Travelers Golf Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. The former world number one completed his round in eight-under-par 62 and tops the leader board with American, J.T. Poston.

Another American, Xander Schauffele and Martin Laird of Scotland is a stroke back in joint third.

McIlroy won the Canadian Open earlier this month and continued his fine form in Connecticut. He started on the back nine and enjoyed a flawless opening day. He carded eight birdies, five of which came after the turn to finish the day on 62 – 8 under par.

Poston kept himself in the hunt, and in a share of the lead. He made six birdies over the first eight holes. Schauffele and Laird also enjoyed a good day on the course. The pair also boasts bogey-free rounds and managed 7 birdies to finish day one on 63.

Americans Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson and Charles Howell the Third are joint fifth on 6 under par. Cantlay has finished in the top 15 at the event over the last four years.

“I’ve said before anytime you have some good results and memories of a golf course you look forward to going back. You know the lines off the tee and what to expect and this year is no different. It’s a place I really like being at and I think my game is good for it,” says Cantlay.

Meanwhile, American Jay Haas and Mark Hensby of Australia top the leader board after the first round of the 42nd US Senior Open tournament in Pennsylvania. The 68-year-old Haas impressed with the first round of four-under-par 67. And took a share of the lead with Hensby, 18 years his junior.

2019 champion Steve Stricker, former  U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate, Tim Petrovic, and England’s Paul Broadhurst each carded 68s. But the day belonged to Haas, who steadied himself after a nervy start.

“I’ve told people for a long time that I still seem to have a passion for the game. I still want to play. I want that competition and I think most of us out here, that’s what drives us, the competition. I don’t even know what the purse is this week, I don’t know what we win, but I know that if we play well, we win more and all that,” says Haas.

South Africa’s Ernie Els had a rather forgettable day. Els carded three bogeys and two birdies to finish joint 22nd on 72 – 1 over par, while his compatriots, Retief Goosen and James Kingston, carded 71’s and are in a tie for 12th.