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AT&T Byron Nelson 2019: Denny McCarthy Leads by 1 Stroke After 1st Round

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2019

DALLAS, TEXAS - MAY 09: Denny McCarthy of the United States plays a shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club on May 09, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Denny McCarthy used an eight-under 63 on Thursday to hold the lead after one round at the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson at the Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas. 

That strong start gives McCarthy a one-shot lead over Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge, who each shot a 64 in the opening round.

This year's field is headlined by Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo

Below is a look at the action from Day 1 in Dallas.

   

2019 AT&T Byron Nelson Leaderboard - First Round

1. Denny McCarthy 63 (-8)

T2. Tyler Duncan 64 (-7)

T2. Tom Hoge 64 (-7)

T4. Matt Jones 65 (-6)

T4. Brooks Koepka 65 (-6)

T4. Jonas Blixt 65 (-6)

T4. Troy Merritt 65 (-6)

T4. Chad Campbell 65 (-6)

T4. Kramer Hickok 65 (-6)

T4. Shawn Stefani 65 (-6)

T4. Matt Every 65 (-6)

T4. Sung Kang 65 (-6)

*Full leaderboard available on the PGA Tour's official website

McCarthy got off to a slow start, with a double bogey on the fourth hole putting him at two-over through five. After he settled in, though, he really found a groove.

The 26-year-old finished the front nine with four consecutive birdies and added another six on the back nine. With that, he established a new pair of personal bests, according to PGA Tour Communications: 

PGA TOUR Communications @PGATOURComms

.@_dennymccarthy is the @attbyronnelson clubhouse leader following an 8-under 63. His previous best round on the @PGATOUR was a second-round 64 at the 2018 @MayakobaGolf.

PGA TOUR Communications @PGATOURComms

Prior to 10 birdies Thursday @attbyronnelson, @_dennymccarthy’s previous high number of birdies in a @PGATOUR round was seven (three occasions).

"I've kind of been looking for a round like this just to kind of get me going," McCarthy said after the first round, per Golfweek's Roxanna Scott. "I know I can be out here playing with the best and today kind of showed that."

McCarthy is seeking his first win on the PGA Tour.

Coming off a rough performance at the RBC Heritage last month, Spieth quickly showed that he had a better feel for his game on this day. The Dallas native birdied his first hole, and he would then have a stretch of four straight birdies.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Three straight for @JordanSpieth. He's just four off the lead. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/Vphzl4jufX

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

👀 That's four in a row for @JordanSpieth. #QuickHits https://t.co/UjSZPDoqtf

That put him at five-under through seven holes.

Although he had a hiccup with a double bogey on the nine, he was able to bounce back quickly with a birdie on the 10th.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Watch this one feed off the slope. @JordanSpieth gets one back after a double-bogey at the ninth. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/GyOU4Ei3SW

Spieth managed better than par just twice over his final 11 holes, shooting above par three times during that stretch. Even through those bumps, the three-time major champ managed a 68, leaving him five shots back at three-under after 18 holes.

Spieth has never won the AT&T Byron Nelson. He finished tied for 21st at 11-under a year ago.

With the tournament being held in Dallas, Romo had the opportunity to take part in a PGA Tour tournament for the third time by way of a sponsor exemption, his first event other than the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He previously missed the cut at Punta Canta in March after shooting a 15-over.

Playing in front of the "hometown" crowd, the 39-year-old CBS analyst got off to a strong start with a birdie on his first hole. A bogey on the fifth evened out his score, but he responded in a big way soon after.

His eagle on the seventh was one of the highlights of the day:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

🦅 @tonyromo with a bit of magic from just off the green. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/3n0H6ZkSJ3

However, his fortunes would soon take a turn for the worst. 

Double bogeys on Nos. 9 and 13 dropped him from two-under all the way to two-over in a five-hole span. He finished the day with three bogeys in the final four holes, putting him at five-over for the back nine.

Romo finished the day at five-over, putting him just two strokes ahead of last place.

Round 2 is scheduled to get underway at 7:50 a.m. ET on Friday. 

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