POTOMAC, Md. (WDVM) – The first day of the Wells Fargo Championship at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm brought much excitement and most importantly, brought PGA golf back to the Washington, DC area for the first time in four years.
Rory McIlroy draws crowds, has a solid day
As expected, Rory McIlroy was the main event of the morning and drew large crowds. The 33-year-old from Northern Ireland had a double bogey on the fourth hole but made up for it with seven birdies to end the day tied in 17th place, three under par and four strokes off the lead.
“As I left the green, I said to myself, if I could get back to three under for the day by the end of the day, I’d be pretty lucky,” McIlroy said. “I’m still pretty happy at 67, could have been 65 or 64, but it’s still a good start.”
Montgomery County native Denny McCarthy shines
Before the eyes of friends and family, Montgomery County native Denny McCarthy was an early leader, enjoying a solid day of golf, notching six birdies to just one bogey. The Georgetown Prep and University of Virginia graduate finished day five under and tied for the lead. After day one he is in third place, two strokes behind the lead.
“I knew I was at the top, it felt a bit like a Sunday to be honest and I think that’s just a good thing, I felt really comfortable,” McCarthy told WDVM. “You know if I’m in that place on Sunday I honestly got a little taste of it today, there was a decent crowd following, I could feel the energy and I think that will only bode well for me. ”
Jason Day leads the way
Australian golfer Jason Day looks like the man to beat after one round. The day ended at seven in first place. Day won the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship. Joel Dahmen is in second place with six under. In third place are Paul Barjon, Matthew Wolff, Aaron Rai and Callum Tarren tied at five below McCarthy. Nine golfers, including Ricky Fowler, are in eighth place with four under eight.
Howard’s Gregory Odom Jr. makes PGA debut
Howard University senior Gregory Odom Jr., 21, made his PGA debut Thursday as an amateur barring a sponsor. Odom competed in front of supporters from Howard and others, finishing with seven overs. On the second day he will be back in action.
“I loved it. Everyone came here to support me. All I can say is thank you and I enjoyed it out here,” Odom said. “That’s what I’m here for, to represent and to be a model, so other kids can look up to me and know you’re doing better than me.”
Fans look forward to seeing golf return to the DC area
On a day of what was probably the best weather of the Wells Fargo Championship, fans flocked to see some of golf’s big names at the TPC Potomac course at Avenel Farm.
“You can be just a rope and a foot away from your favorite superstars and watch them do their thing,” said Ryan Revie of Maryland.
Big and small fans were there, Revie’s little son was given a ball on the pitch. Others came to see a specific name, McIlroy being the most popular.
“My wife is a huge Rory McIlroy fan, that was the main reason,” said Bob Sabatelli of Clarksburg.
Many fans have expressed hope that an annual golf tournament will return to the Washington, DC area.
“We’ve been denied golf tournaments and there’s a huge demand,” said Bethesda native Joel Vardon. “I would say fan base around golf in this community.”