McIlroy leads the race for the Travelers title

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Rory McIlroy (center) greets her caddy after the first round of the PGA Tour Travelers’ Championship held at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, USA on the morning of the 24th (Korean time). AP News

Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) took the lead in the race to win the PGA Tour Travelers’ Championship (total prize money of $8.3 million).

On the morning of the 24th (Korean time), McIlroy took the lead with JT Poston (USA) in the first round of 8-under 62 at TPC River Highlands (par 70) in Cromwell, Connecticut, USA. McIlroy beat out tied third-placed Xander Shopley (USA) and Martin Laird (Scotland) by one stroke, hitting 7-under 63.

McIlroy, who picked up two victories on the PGA Tour this season, is ranked in the top 10 in five of the last six tournaments he has participated in, including winning the RBC Canadian Open and runner-up at the Masters. Thanks to this, the upward trend of climbing to second place in the world ranking continued until this week. Poston also went on to challenge his second PGA Tour title since the Wyndham Championship in August 2019 with an unprecedented first round.

Harris English (USA), who won the championship trophy after eight overtimes last year, also started off without a hitch for a second consecutive losing streak with a 4-under-par 66 shot. World No. 1 Scottie Schaeffler (USA) finished the first round with a 2-under-par 68.

Among Korean players, Seong-jae Lim, who was considered the closest to winning this tournament, withdrew due to back muscle pain, while Kyung-hoon Lee achieved the best performance with a 2-under par with 4 birdies and 2 bogeys. Kim Si-woo is in danger of being pushed out of the top 100 with a 2-over par 72, and Kang Sung-hoon a 3-over par 73.

Reporter Oh Hae-won

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