Travelers Championship: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy off to hot starts

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Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy didn’t have to wait long to regain form after missing the cut at last week’s U.S. Open.

Both stars found themselves on the first page of the leaderboard Thursday after the first round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Spieth and Zach Johnson finished Round 1 tied for the lead at 7 under.

Spieth had six birdies, an eagle and a bogey en route to a first-round 63. He has not finished inside the top 2 so far this season.

Johnson birdied six straight holes on his back nine Thursday, but ended his day with a disappointing bogey.

“That felt great. The ever competitor in me felt like it could have been more,” Johnson said after his round. “I actually lipped out my chip on 10, lipped out for eagle on 13. So I’m saying all that, but yet I made some putts and hit quality shots.

“So, yeah, six in a row is a treat. I had a lot of loft in my hand, lot of wedges in my hand. So that’s kind of how you’ve got to think about it is you have a lot of opportunity on the back side if you get the ball on the fairway. There are some holes you can get at. There is a stretch there where you can make some big numbers or you can make some low numbers. That’s why I think this golf course here at Travelers is terrific.”

McIlroy shot a 6-under 64 with seven birdies and one bogey on his scorecard. Unfortunately, his lone bogey came on the final hole.

Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas all shot 4-under 66s. Thomas had six birdies, an eagle and four bogeys on his colorful scorecard.