Denny McCarthy shot a career-low 8-under 63 for the first-round lead Thursday at the Byron Nelson, where the local spotlight is on Trinity Forest members Jordan Spieth and Tony Romo.
McCarthy had 10 birdies over a 12-hole stretch after a double bogey in his morning round. The former Virginia player was a stroke ahead of Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge. Three-time major champion Brooks Koepka was among a large group at 65.
Spieth shot 68 during the afternoon when the wind picked up at the rain-soaked course. Romo, the CBS NFL analyst and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption, had a 76 that included a chip-in eagle at the seventh.
McCarthy was part of the high school Class of 2011, along with three-time major champion Spieth and 2017 PGA Tour player of the year Justin Thomas. Three other PGA Tour rookies of the year also came from that group, and all have PGA Tour wins.
McCarthy’s best PGA Tour finish was fourth last year in the Dominican Republic, when he played his first two rounds with Romo, who missed the cut there in his only two previous PGA Tour starts.