Travelers Championship Daily Diary: A First-Round Grind

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Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable Jun 23, 2022, 4:38 PM

Conrad Shindler made his second start on the PGA Tour since 2019 this week at the Travelers Championship as one of four players who Monday qualified.

CROMWELL, Conn. – Conrad Shindler, who entered the day with golf odds of +75000 to win, finished Round 1 of the Travelers Championship at even-par.

Considering 8-under is leading the tournament, many in the field would be disappointed with that result, but Shindler knows his round could have been a lot worse.

“A grind,” he said afterward. “Had a couple of good looks early, I just wasn’t able to capitalize. I was hitting everything to 25 feet and it’s hard to make a lot of birdies like that. It wasn’t that I hit it bad. I stayed very disciplined. I was committed to my targets. You see a leader at 8-under and you could be like, ‘Oh my Gosh. We need to go make birdies.’ But if you change gears and start making mistakes, you really put yourself behind the 8-ball. 

“It very easily could have been 72 and we would have been a little down on ourselves, but I grinded until the end, and [Friday] is a new day.”

Shindler made two bogeys, two birdies, and 14 pars Thursday morning at TPC River Highlands.

Wednesday night, Shindler was like most other sports fans and watched the Colorado Avalanche beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

“As soon as that puck went in [in overtime], lights out and went to sleep,” he said, as he teed off at 8:42 a.m. Thursday.

It’s also a bit of an unusual week for him, as it’s the first time he’s spent extended time away from his wife and six-month-old son, James. Since James was born, Shindler has  mostly done Monday qualifiers, so has only been gone a few nights at a time.

“It’s unnormal because it’s been so normal for me to be there with her,” said Shindler. “She is doing everything on her own and she’s getting up at 4 o’clock every morning now. She’s doing a great job holding down the fort. I am so used to holding him, so it’s a little different right now.”

Shindler will FaceTime them as much as possible because that’s the most he can do 1,600 miles away from his home just outside of Dallas, Texas.

Conrad Shindler Round 1 Breakdown

7:30 a.m. – Arrive at the practice green with his caddie, Aaron Alpern, who drove down from Buffalo on Tuesday, and his father, who flew in from Texas Wednesday afternoon.

7:44 a.m. – Hit balls at the driving range with a Trackman to monitor distances.

8:10 a.m. – Head to the chipping area for a few chips and more work around the green.

8:25 a.m. – Hit a few putts at the side green next to the first tee.

8:35 a.m. (E) – Tee off with Beau Hossler and Andrew Novak. This was a good pairing for Shindler because he’s known both for years. He talked with both players throughout the round.

“When I won on the Korn Ferry Tour, I was chatting the whole time,” he said. “That is kind of my personality. I am a little more chatty, but when it’s time to focus I can take 30 seconds to grind.”

9:35 a.m. (+1) – After opening with three straight pars, Shindler got himself into trouble on No. 4. He missed the green to the right and failed to get up and down.

11:00 a.m. (+1) – Shindler made the turn at 1-over after closing the front-9 with five straight pars. His best chance at birdie came at the par-5 sixth, but his putt just skirted the edge.

11:28 a.m. (+1) – He got into a bit of trouble off the 12th tee by missing the fairway to the right but was able to put his second shot on the green for an easy two-putt par.

12:05 p.m. (E) – After a long wait on the tee, Shinder made his first birdie of the day at the par-5 13th. He had 249 yards to the hole for his second shot, but unlike the other two players in his group, he opted to layup. He then put his wedge from 83 yards to three feet for an easy birdie, the only birdie in the group.

This was a case of sticking to his game plan, which he mapped out during the practice round.

“There’s no doubt I could have got a 3-wood there,” he said. “The probability of that shot working out where I had an easy birdie wasn’t likely. I’d say there was a higher risk of making bogey.”

12:30 p.m. (+1) – Shindler followed up the birdie with his second bogey of the day. He missed the 14th green to the right and flubbed his chip, barely reaching the fringe. An easy two-putt resulted in a bogey and falling back to 1-over.

12:50 p.m. (E) – He was able to bounce back quickly by picking up a birdie at the driveable par-4 15th. After saying he’d hit iron during his practice round to stay well back, he ultimately changed his mind on the tee and hit a 3-wood.

“We had talked about laying up, but being downwind we thought that would leave a tough shot with that little shelf up front,” Shindler said. “We would then have to flirt with coming up short.”

The drive ended next to the green on the right, and his chip settled a few feet from the hole for a tap-in birdie.

1:25 p.m. (E) – Shindler closed out his day with a solid par on 16 and then two great pars on 17 and 18. On 17, he made a terrific up-and-down from left of the green, and on 18 he made a nice 9-footer to close out the day.

1:50 p.m. (E) – After signing his scorecard, Shindler went inside the clubhouse with his caddie and father to grab lunch before turning his attention to the second round Friday afternoon, where he will likely need to go low to make the cut. 

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”