Spieth takes one-stroke lead in his Travelers debut
CROMWELL, CONN. | Jordan Spieth didn’t take long to figure out TPC River Highlands.
Making his debut at the Connecticut course, the 23-year-old Texan had eight birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 7-under 63 and a onestroke lead in the Travelers Championship.
Spieth birdied five of the first eight holes and took sole possession of the lead on the final hole, hitting a wedge to 4 feet for birdie on the par-4 18th.
“Being 3 under through four it helps you walk a little easier, it helps kind of the shots you are playing throughout the round,” Spieth said. “You don’t feel like you have to take as many chances and I was able to play away from pins when I was in a little bit of trouble.”
The two-time major champion tied for 35th on Sunday in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Johnson Wagner and Brett Stegmaier, a Connecticut native who grew up about 25 miles from the course in Madison, were tied for second.
The 33-year-old Stegmaier said he decided to become a professional golfer while in the gallery at the tournament in 2000, watching Notah Begay sink a 25-foot birdie putt to win. It was his fourth appearance at the Travelers and his first subpar round.
“To be here now, it’s almost a little surreal,” Stegmaier said. “Just being on tour, I realize it’s not the greatest thing in the world, because it’s still a job. You still got to grind and there’s low points. But with the right perspective, to be here now talking to you guys, it’s pretty cool.”
Stegmaier, who missed six cuts in his last seven tournaments, had seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch in the middle of the round and closed with a bogey on No. 9.
Wagner was first into the clubhouse with a 64. He chipped in from 70 feet on his opening hole.
Jordan Spieth had eight birdies and a bogey on Thursday to take a 7-under 63 for the Travelers Championship lead.