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Denny McCarthy came inches away from carding a 59 at the Travelers Championship on Thursday but had no idea until the crowd gave him false hope.

The American took pole position on the leaderboard after flying out the gates with a ten-under-par 60.

It could’ve been even better, though, as McCarthy lined up his approach shot for eagle from 169 yards on the ninth hole, and initially thought it had no chance.

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That was until the ball took a fortuitous kick at the side of the green and rolled narrowly by the cup.

McCarthy, who tied for 20th place at last week’s U.S. Open, admitted he relied on the crowd’s reaction and thought they were winding him up.

He said: “I had been hitting a nice little cutty shot all day, so I just gripped down on a 7-iron and just leaked it a little, saw it kick, and couldn’t see the rest.

“We were just going off the crowd’s reaction at that point. I wasn’t thinking that it was going in but obviously, the crowd made me think otherwise.”

The 30-year-old shot his age on both nines to combine for a memorable day at TPC River Highlands, with five birdies going out and another five on the way in.

The Travelers Championship isn’t the first designated event on the PGA Tour that McCarthy has lurked around the top at recently.

McCarthy lost out in a playoff to Viktor Hovland at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago, although that has given him the confidence to win on the PGA Tour.

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He added: “I don’t feel like I gave that tournament away really. I didn’t make a bogey for 27, 30-ish holes at that place, and that’s pretty darn good.

“It sucked I bogeyed the last hole and again in the playoff, but I did a lot of good things down the stretch, and I felt really comfortable in that position. I’m hungry to get right back.”

Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott sit behind McCarthy after the opening round in Connecticut on eight-under-par, with world number one Scottie Scheffler a further stroke down.

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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