CROMWELL, Conn. — Mackenzie Hughes shot at a career-low 60 Thursday to shoot the first-round direct in the Travelers Championship as the PGA Tour attempted to change its attention to golfing amid growing worries regarding the coronavirus.
Hughes, a 29-year old Canadian, had a opportunity to shoot at the 12th sub-60 around in PGA Tour history, but his 40-foot birdie try on his final hole came up short. Jim Furyk took a 12-below 58 on the exact same TPC River Highlands class four decades ago, the lowest score at a tour event.
“I sort of joked walking away there which 59 was not even the record due to Jim’s 58,” Hughes explained. “It is probably not that particular around here. However, as a private milestone it might have been fantastic.”
It had been great enough for three-shot contribute over Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hovland, that every shot 63 to a day of low scoring.
Phil Mickelson, paired together with McIlroy in his first competitive round since turning 50, was among six players to take 64. Bryson DeChambeau’s 65 has been the worst score from the marquee threesome.
You will find 106 players that broke par. The album for a day in TPC River Highlands was in 2011, when 111 players were under or better in the next round.
Hughes’ bogey-free round comprised a 30-foot birdie putt on his second-to-last pit, the par-3 eighth. Patrick Cantlay has been the latest player to take 60 in TPC River Highlands, as a recreational in 2011.
McIlroy, who started on the back nine, eagled the par-5 13th and followed with two successive birdies. He made four birdies on the front nine to get a 31.
“It has just been nice to get into a competitive golf ,” McIlroy said. “You knowit does not feel the same as you aren’t having tens of thousands of people responding to a birdies and getting that going. I believed that the evenings are a little flat for me only because that is when you are in contention and that is where you kind of beginning to sense it. Thursdays and Fridays do not believe that different to be fair, but to the evenings they perform.”
Mickelson learned before Thursday that he had been awarded an exemption into this season’s U.S. Open to be at the very best 70 on earth on March 15, when golf has been closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“That worked out good, to have the ability to understand I have a opportunity to return into Winged Foot and give it a second chance,” said Mickelson, who finished second at Winged Foot at 2006 following a double bogey on the 72nd hole. “But I have had 30 U.S. Opens. I have had lots of chances, and thus when I do not meet, I need somebody else that deserves a place, also, to perform with. So long as I am playing well enough to compete to make my way to the area, then I would like to play and continue trying to win this championship.”
Schauffele and Hovland were the finest one of the day wave. Schauffele was under through 16 holes missed a 7-footer for diploma on the 17th.
“The greens constitute a bit,” he explained. “The end, only a small bit of breeze can make any path difficult, so concerning hitting it really tight, so it got somewhat harder late daily.”
Hovland created a sloppy bogey on 17 but rebounded with a wedge to 4 feet onto the par-4 18th for birdie.
Abraham Ancer, the runner-up at a week’s RBC Heritage, aced the 155-lawn 16th. His 8-iron landed just on the pond guarding the green and rolled 6 ft to the pit.
“It was quite anticlimactic since there was no one out there and we could not high-five anything, but nevertheless, it was amazing to have my very first PGA Tour ace,” explained Ancer, that took 67.
The run-up into the championship was absorbed by information regarding the coronavirus and queries regarding the length of time the tour can last after two gamers — Nick Watney and Cameron Champ — along with the caddies for Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell tested positive. These were the only four positive tests one of the 1,382 conducted from the tour because its recurrence.
Players who test positive are expected to withdraw. Koepka, his brother, Chase, McDowell and a week’s winner, Webb Simpson, withdrew due to concerns regarding the virus. The Travelers is the next occasion on the tour calendar because golf resumed.
The entrance opened the doorway for loopholes such as Tyler McCumber, who came Wednesday night from his house in Florida and taken 65.
McCumber missed the cut the Korn Ferry Tour a week and then went camping for a couple of days at North Carolina’s Pisgah Forest.
“I got back Tuesday, believing I had no prospect of getting into the championship, then got the call in the trip regarding the choice of maybe getting up here,” he explained.