Watson hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first
round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament,
Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Cromwell, Conn.
— Bubba Watson made himself right at home in the Travelers
Championship — again.
Watson shot an
8-under 62 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead in the event he
won in 2010 for his first PGA Tour title. He has finished in the
top 20 five times in eight previous starts at TPC River Highlands.
It was the
two-time Masters champion's lowest round in the event.
special," Watson said about the tournament. "It was my
first win and it's the same time that I announced to the world
that my dad was passing with cancer. So, special in different
native Keegan Bradley was tied for second with Jason Gore,
Seung-Yul Noh, Brian Stuard and Harris English, who shot a 30 on
the back nine. Eight players shot 65, and 12 more opened at 66.
Ninety-three players were under par in the first round.
a U.S. Open, this golf course seems like it's gettable, and we all
feel that way," Watson said. "So the guys that played in
the U.S. Open maybe feel better about their game when they get
late in the day, had four birdies on his final five holes. The
two-time Masters champion just missed an eagle on the par-4 18th
hole, hitting a 139-yard second shot that bounced into the
flagstick and rolled 4 inches past the cup.
His only glitch
during that stretch was bogey on the par-3 16th, where he overshot
the green, and chipped his second shot past the hole and into the
He is trying to
become the fifth golfer to win this tournament since 2000 after
leading or being tied for the lead going into the second round.
"I just kept
grinding it out," he said." ''Whatever shot was called
for, I tried to hit it and somehow today, I hit it good."
Bradley, put up
an early 64, shooting a 31 on his front nine. The 29-year-old, who
was born in Vermont, is playing his fifth Travelers Championship,
which he considers a home tournament. His best finish has been
"I put a lot
of pressure on myself in every tournament, but this one especially
just because I've got a lot of people here. I know a lot of the
fans are rooting for me. I can feel it."
English, who did
not play in the U.S. Open, had just 22 putts.
"You can hit
a lot of good wedge shots to 8, 10, 12 feet," he said.
"If you don't make them, it kind of hurts, it stops the
momentum. But I feel like I made some of those and kept it
Ernie Els is
making his first appearance in Connecticut since 2002 and was
among those at 66. He said he normally heads to Europe after the
U.S. Open to prepare for the British Open, but decided to try to
pick up a few more FedEx points this year.
quite close to Europe," he said. "It's only 5 1/2 hours
Andres Romero won a Rolex watch during his round of 69 when he
aced the 177-yard par-3 16th hole. Romero said he grabbed his
7-iron and decided to go for the pin after his caddie translated a
sign about the hole-in-one prize next to the tee box.
"I got the
shot off and when it headed toward the hole and disappeared, I
couldn't believe it," he said through a translator.
It was the third
hole-in-one of the Romero's career, and he said now owns seven
Martin Laird may
have had the shot of the round when he holed out from 140 yards
for an eagle on the par-4 17th hole, watching as ball cleared the
water and the pin before rolling back into the cup.
As many as nine
spots for the British Open are available this week.
The leading five
players, not already exempt, from the top 20 in the FedEx Cup will
be part of the field at St. Andrews next month.
In addition, the
leading four players who finish in the top 12 at TPC River
Highlands also will get spots. The Travelers is the first of three
PGA Tour events where top finishers can get into St. Andrews.
There are four spots available at The Greenbrier Classic, and one
at the John Deere Classic.