POTOMAC, Md. — EDITOR'S NOTE: WUSA9 is the media sponsor of the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship, hosted at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms.
Denny McCarthy soared to the top of the leaderboard after round 1 at the Wells Fargo Championship Thursday. The Takoma Park, Maryland native shot a 5-under par, finishing the day tied for first. And he did it on the course he considers a home of sorts.
McCarthy grew up just a few miles away from the first tee at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
“Like most PGA Tour weeks you have to come out and bring your ‘A’ game and if you don’t have your ‘A’ game then maybe your ‘B+’ game to kind of hang in there on some of those tougher holes," McCarthy said.
He brought his 'A' game for Thursday, and his parents, Dennis and Elena McCarthy said they couldn't be more proud of their son.
"Proud moment for sure," Dennis McCarthy said. "It's a home week, he's comfortable and he's been working really hard. Hopefully he can continue playing well through Sunday and Monday with the rain."
Denny McCarthy started excelling at golf at the age of 10 and then took his talents to Georgetown Preparatory School. He went on to become a two-time All-American golfer at the University of Virginia. His parents estimate about 40 to 50 of his family and friends came to watch his first round on Thursday.
With the rain moving in on Friday, not everyone came out to the course, but McCarthy's parents weren't going to miss it.
"Oh we will be here every day," Elena McCarthy said.
Last week in anticipation of the Wells Fargo Championship, Denny McCarthy said he was most excited about coming home, staying at his parents' house, and getting some homecooked meals from mom.
"She’s a great cook and maybe she'll make some Maryland crab," the golfer told WUSA9 last week. "Crab is my favorite food, so I’m excited to get home."
And mom came through! Elena McCarthy whipped up some crab cakes before his first round, and they might just be Denny McCarthy's lucky charm after his successful first day.
When asked what her secret was, Elena McCarthy laughed and said, "I don't know! When he's in Maryland I just try to do everything crab. If he wants crab cakes again tonight, I can definitely do that!"
While they are pleased with their son's early success in the Wells Fargo Championship, the McCarthys know that it takes four strong days to win a tournament, not just one.
"People come from behind so my big thing is, it's not where you start, it's where you finish," Elena McCarthy said. "I always have hope. It's hole by hole. Day by day."