In the opening round of the AT&T Byron Nelson, Denny McCarthy was sitting at 2-over par through five holes, but starting on the 6th hole at Trinity Forest, the 26-year old Maryland native reeled off five-straight birdies on Nos. 6-10, and added five more in a six-hole stretch on Nos. 12-17 en route to a low-round 63.
“I think maybe making the double bogey at the 4th hole kind of calmed me down in a way,” said McCarthy.
“Timid swing off the tree and from there on out I told myself I was just going to play really carefree and really aggressive and just kind of see the shot that I see and go ahead and hit it and move on.”
On the day, McCarthy, a former All-American at Virginia, hit 11 of 14 fairways, and 13 of 18 greens, while playing alongside Ben Crane and Colt Knost. His 1.231 Putts per Greens in Regulation led the field.
One back, and tied for second, was the twosome of Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge, who carded matching 64s.
A nine-player logjam was next at 6-under par, headlined by the field’s top-ranked player in Brooks Koepka (No. 3).
Local favorite Jordan Spieth opened within a 3-under 68.
1. Denny McCarthy -8
2. Tyler Duncan -7
3. Tom Hoge -7
4. Nine Players -6
“Yeah, it’s tough out here. This is my second year. I’m still kind of learning the ropes a little bit. Everyone is so good, everyone — the courses are tough and everyone is so good out here.
“You just really need to be physically and mentally sharp every single week when you tee it up on Thursday. Sometimes that’s hard to do when you play consecutive weeks.”
– Denny McCarthy