Breakdown of the ranking of the 2020 travelers’ championship, take-out: Rory McIlroy impressive in the first round


After two tournaments in which players torched both Colonial Country Club and Harbor Town Golf Links, we had roughly the same thing in Round 1 of the 2020 Travelers Championship on Thursday. Mackenzie Hughes set the pace with a 10-under 60 (he missed a putt for 59 on the last hole), but the average score dropped to around 68.5, which means that if you were 1 below, you would lose shots on the field .The standings – as was the case in each of the first two events – are absolutely loaded after round 1 with the best player in the world just three behind Hughes. Let’s take a look at what happened on Thursday that is in the position to make noise in the last 54 holes.

1. Mackenzie Hughes (-10) – Hughes had a birdie on three of his last four holes to reach 10 under the total and went to the last knowing he would need a birdie there for 59. He had a 40 feet for the bird after driving mediocre and sort of… left it short. Really short too. It’s always good to shoot 60, but you had to prick a little so you don’t even have it close. The thing Hughes needs to worry about a little bit now is that he dominated the peloton on Thursday, which is probably unsustainable (especially on this clip).

T2. Rory McIlroy, Alex Schauffele, Viktor Hovland (-7) – Hovland and Schauffele have been great and have a real resistance here, but McIlroy stole the show from the start of the tournament. He hit absolute hell with the ball and did almost nothing on these greens. McIlroy was in the middle of the field with his putter and remains in second place on Friday. Namely, McIlroy had 13 (thirteen !!) birdie or eagle putts inside 20 feet, and he made less than 70 feet of putts in total. Hughes can keep the lead, but McIlroy is the player who has to beat the last 54 holes with the way he hits him.

T5. Phil Mickelson, Michael Thompson, Sergio Garcia, Tyler Duncan, Seung-Yul Noh, Louis Oosthuizen (-6) – Not only did Mickelson – making his first start after his 50th birthday – follow McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau (his playing partners), he beat Dechambeau and hit the ball wonderfully. I walked into this week wondering what the way would be to get Mickelson to win again on the PGA Tour, so of course he has a top-10 hit on the tee-to-green and is in the mix during a tournament where he is the double champion. Of course.

T11. Russell Henley, Tyler McCumber, Bryson DeChambeau, Brian Stuard, Rafa Cabrera Bello (-5) – We’ll talk about DeChambeau later in the week (because he’ll stay there until the end), but let’s talk about McCumber. He got stuck in the field on Wednesday after the five COVID-19 withdrawals and was part of a featured group with Chez Reavie and Jon Rahm. Either way, he emerged as the top scorer in this group even after starting the first three holes 2 more. He played the rest of his 7 penny round, including a nasty little 30 on the back nine, and did it all after a week of hiking. Related: Golf is the dumbest (and most awesome) sport in the world.

T31. Jordan Spieth (-3) – Hit well and don’t putt at all. I’m at a tournament to give up understanding all of this. There have been some great ball hitting rounds in the past three weeks, but it’s hard to trust consistency here.

T79. Dustin Johnson (-1) – Speaking of consistency, Johnson contested his round Thursday over the field despite a shot of 1 penny. Again, the field average was 1.5 lower, which means that D.J. has work to do on Friday to make the cut. He has had a strange 15 months and just doesn’t seem to be his usual batter.

More takeaways

• Collin Morikawa’s 22 straight streak as a pro is under threat after a 72-2. He will likely need a 65 or better Friday just to watch the weekend.

• Rory is the real leader here. I guess everyone knows that, but it’s instructive to know that the lead for round 2 is 7 cents rather than 10 cents.

• Hughes will not be the last player to challenge 59 (or better?) This week. Honestly, if one of the big names starts to feel (Rahm? Rory?), 58 or 57 seems to be able to play with the ease with which TPC River Highlands currently operates.

• No fans on the course is always the best type of professional golf.

CBS Sports was with you throughout the process of updating this story with the latest Traveler Championship scores, updates and highlights below. Check out the live scores at the top of this story or a more detailed ranking.


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