CROMWELL, Conn. – 4 days after Matthew Fitzpatrick gained the 122nd US Open and fewer than 24 hours after PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan introduced that important modifications to the PGA Tour calendar and FedEx Cup playoff system are on the way in which, the Vacationers Championship started at TPC River Highlands.
A number of golfers commented Thursday that after the grind of a US Open, coming to this course, which often yields low scores, is a welcome reduction. Among the many gamers who went low on the primary day of the match had been Rory McIlroy and JT Poston, each of whom shot 8-under 62s, in addition to Xander Schauffele and Martin Laird (63). Three extra gamers — Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay — shot 64. Anirban Lahiri had probably the most boring scorecard of the day. He shot a 70 after parring all 18 holes. He additionally did that within the ultimate spherical of the 2015 Masters.
Listed here are 5 takeaways from the primary day of motion on the 2022 Vacationers Championship.
Rory shouldn’t be enjoying to make some extent
Rory McIlroy performs a shot from the fourth tee in the course of the first spherical of the Vacationers Championship. (Photograph: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Even whereas he was preventing cold-like signs, Rory McIlroy continued his sturdy play on Thursday by capturing a bogey-free 62 to take the early lead on the Vacationers Championship.
Requested if he and among the different supporters of the PGA Tour are particularly motivated or attempting to ship a message to the LIV Golf supporters with sturdy play, McIlroy mentioned no.
“I simply suppose it so occurs that probably the most protecting of the PGA Tour are the perfect gamers on the earth proper now,” he mentioned. “I’m not going out to attempt to show something to anybody. I am in a superb run of kind. I am enjoying effectively. Whether or not that provides me a bit of extra confidence to talk up on sure points, possibly. However I am simply going on the market attempting to play my sport and attempting to win some extra tournaments. ”
Poston wasn’t considering historical past after scorching begin
JT Poston traces up a putt on the seventh inexperienced in the course of the first spherical of the 2022 RBC Canadian Open at St. Louis. George’s Golf and Nation Membership in Etobicoke, Ontario. (Photograph: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Photos)
TPC River Highlands yielded a 58 to Jim Furyk in 2016, so when JT Poston was 6 below by means of his eight holes Thursday afternoon, one other sub-60 rating seemed prefer it may be on the way in which. Nevertheless, Poston then made seven consecutive pars earlier than making birdies on the seventh and ninth holes for his 8-under 62.
Was he considering 58?
“You realize, I didn’t actually give it some thought that a lot. I most likely would have thought of it if I might have made a number of birdies in these first few holes on the entrance 9, ”he mentioned afterward. “I gave myself a number of seems to be, however sort of made a bunch of pars to start out the entrance. That was sort of out of the image after a short while. I may need thought of it a bit of bit extra if I would have made a few early birdies, and who is aware of? ”
Heat up is overrated
Xander Schauffele talks along with his caddy on the third fairway in the course of the first spherical of the 2022 Vacationers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photograph: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Most gamers undergo the identical warm-up and preparation routine earlier than each spherical. It often consists of stretching, then hitting a collection of putts earlier than transferring to the vary and progressing from wedges as much as irons and eventually some drivers. If the apply inexperienced is on the way in which to the primary tee, possibly they’re going to hit a number of ultimate putts earlier than enjoying. That usually takes about an hour.
Thursday, Xander Schauffele acquired blended up on his tee time and arrived on the apply space solely half-hour earlier than his 7:35 am ET tee time.
“For no matter purpose, I actually thought I used to be teeing off at 7:50. My tee time tomorrow is 12:50, so possibly that was the mix-up, ”mentioned Schauffele. “However it was a fairly large rookie transfer on my behalf.”
The abbreviated warm-up did not appear to hassle Schauffele an excessive amount of. After making three straight pars to start out his day, he birdied Nos. 13, 15, 17 and 18 to play his first 9 holes in 31 photographs. He completed with a 7-under 63. He additionally went 18-for-18 hitting in greens in regulation.
Grinning after he signed his card, Schauffele mentioned, “After I’m at dwelling, I’ll heat up within the gymnasium or with a physio, however once I’m at dwelling I’ll present up for an 8 tee time at 7 : 55, possibly hit two putts after which simply begin swinging, so benefit from the youth, I suppose, ”
For Jordan Spieth, 4 + 5 + 2 + 4 = 5 over
Jordan Spieth and his caddy Michael Greller at Vacationers Championship at TPC River Highlands (Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty Photos)
Jordan Spieth hit one of the crucial well-known photographs in Vacationers Championship historical past, a bunker shot that went within the 18th gap on Sunday in 2016 that gained him the match over Daniel Berger. In pure elation, he jumped into his caddy, Michael Greller. You have seen that replay one million instances.
On Thursday, he felt the alternative finish of the emotional spectrum, capturing a 5-over 75 that included 4 birdies, three bogeys, double bogeys and 4 (sure, 4!) penalty strokes.
You may assume that Spieth has by no means had 4 penalty strokes added to his rating in a PGA Tour occasion, however amazingly, he additionally did it within the ultimate spherical of the primary 2021 FedEx Cup playoff occasion held final yr at Liberty Nationwide Golf Membership in Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey.
The eighth gap in the course of the first spherical of the 2022 Vacationers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty Photos)
With two 62s, a pair of 63s and three 64s on the prime of the leaderboard, you may suppose that TPC River Highlands was defenseless Thursday, however the 6,852-yard, par-70 course performed to a stroke common of 69.9. Offsetting the low scores on the prime had been scores just like the aforementioned Jordan Spieth’s 75, in addition to Jason Day’s 74 and Richy Werenski’s 78.