Golf

Jordan Spieth takes first round lead at Travelers Championship

Jordan Spieth shot a seven-under 63 to take the first round lead in Connecticut
Martin McGoran

A BIRDIE on the last hole saw Jordan Spieth take sole possession of the early clubhouse lead at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

The former world number one signed for a seven-under 63 on his debut at TPC River Highlands, with a bogey on the 406-yard ninth preventing him from securing more than a one-stroke advantage.

Local hopeful Brett Stegmaier was the early pacesetter and reached Thursday evening tied for second with fellow American Johnson Wagner, who like Stegmaier mixed seven birdies with a bogey.

Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington made steady starts to their week. Both men fired four birdies in their rounds as they set off from the 10th hole among the early starters, with Harrington managing to avoid any bogeys in his 66 and McIlroy having only one blemish, at the 18th hole (his ninth).

Harrington picked up birdies at holes 1, 3, 6 and 13, while McIlroy birdied 1, 3, 12 and 17.

Ireland’s third representative, Seamus Power shot a disappointing two-over par 72.

In Germany, Sergio Garcia marked his first appearance on European soil since winning the Masters by heading into the second day of the BMW International in third place.

The Spaniard launched his round with six birdies as he compiled a six-under-par 66 to leave him trailing clubhouse leader Wade Ormsby of Australia by two shots with Belgium’s Thomas Detry sandwiching the pair.

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