Jordan Spieth (63) leads early in debut at Travelers Championship

Jodan Spieth Getty Images

Jordan Spieth (63) leads early in debut at Travelers Championship

PGA Tour

Jordan Spieth (63) leads early in debut at Travelers Championship

Here is a recap of the first round of the Travelers Championship, played at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.:

LEADING: Never doubt Jordan Spieth. The 23-year-old has experienced an up-and-down 2017, but there have been some key ups. One was a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Another was a T-2 at Colonial. Now a first-round 63 at TPC River Highlands. Spieth opened the Travelers Championship with a 7-under round to grab a one-shot lead early. Spieth made it look pretty simple. He birdied his first two holes and five of his first eight to reach 5 under quickly. A bogey at No. 9 was his only blemish of the day. Birdies at 13 and 14 moved him to 6 under and into a share of the lead. Spieth missed a 7-footer for sole possession at 15 but made up for it by stuffing his approach to 4 feet at the last for a closing birdie. This is Spieth’s first appearance at the event, which he enters after a T-35 at the U.S. Open. It’s a start that couldn’t have gone much better.

CHASING: Johnson Wagner and Brett Stegmaier are tied for second at 6 under while Graham DeLaet and Troy Merritt hold down the fort at 5 under. Thirteen golfers are tied for sixth at 4 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: That’s a way to finish out a round. Stuffing it close at 18? Check. Taking the outright lead? Check. Still proving you’re Jordan Spieth and should be feared? Check.

QUOTABLE: “A few of those go in, it’s a different story. All of a sudden you’re shooting something in the low 60s.” – Rory McIlroy, talking about how a few close misses on putts prevented him from a really low round

SHORT SHOTS: Padraig Harrington seems to be just fine after a freak injury. The Irishman shoots 66 to find himself in that 4-under logjam. … Xander Schauffele, a surprise T-5 finisher in his first major last week and sporting a fascinating family backstory, also opens in 66. So does Brian Harman, a T-2 finisher at the U.S. Open. Beau Hossler is at that number, too, as the winner of the 2016 Haskins Award presented by Stifel makes just one bogey Thursday. … McIlroy opens in 3-under 67 (good for T-19) in his Travelers debut. He’s joined there by Jim Furyk, whose last competitive round here was his astounding, historic 58. … Jason Day’s recent struggles continue. After a flat MC performance at the U.S. Open, he comes out with 2-over 72 to sit in a tie for 111th. … Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this event, opens in a dismal 75 to find himself tied for 143rd. … Defending champion Russell Knox is tied for 51st after a 1-under round.

UP NEXT: Golf Channel will air second-round coverage from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Eastern. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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