It has hardly been a down year for Jordan Spieth. He has won at Pebble Beach, finished second at Colonial, finished in the top-10 six times, the top-25 10 times, and made close to $4 million. Yet by his lofty standards, he has at times seemed displeased with his play. There was nothing to be displeased about on Thursday at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., where Spieth opened with a seven-under 63 to take the lead at the Travelers Championship.
The two-time major champion began his round with five birdies in his first eight holes, including one that came after a 176-yard approach shot to eight feet from the rough on the 481-yard par-4 fourth hole. He then made his only bogey of the day on the par-4 ninth, but tacked on three more birdies on the back nine to match his lowest round of the season. Spieth, 23, is making his first appearance in the Travelers Championship.
Just one back are Johnson Wagner and Brett Stegmaier, who have combined to miss 11 of their last 12 cuts. Something clicked for both players today, each posting six-under 64s with just two bogeys between them. Wagner, 37, has won three times on the PGA Tour, but not since the 2012 Sony Open. Stegmaier, a native of Connecticut who grew up 25 minutes from TPC River Highlands, is still in search of his first victory.
Graham DeLaet and Troy Merritt are two shots back after carding five-under 65s.
Rory McIlroy, who shot a three-under 67, is four shots off the pace. Like Spieth, the Northern Irishman is also making his first appearance at the Travelers.