CROMWELL, Connecticut (AP) ― David Mathis hoped to start strong at the Travelers Championship after missing the cut last week in the U.S. Open.
The 38-year-old Mathis birdied his first hole, then holed out from 158 yards on the par-3 11th hole. He knocked in a 49-foot birdie putt on his third, was at 6-under par after six holes, and fished with a 6-under 64 for a one-shot lead.
“It was an awesome start,” said Mathis, who has never finished better than eighth in a PGA Tour event. “I was hitting a lot of great shots (later), and I guess it felt like a lull compared to how I started.”
Nathan Green, Will Claxton and defending champion Fredrik Jacobson shot 65 on a day that saw temperatures soar into the upper 90s.
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and Masters winner Bubba Watson played together and finished in a group of 10 at 66. The third member of the threesome, PGA champion Keegan Bradley, shot a 68.
Koreans Ma and Lee put hosts on top
Korean rookie Ma Soo-kil and compatriot Lee Sang-hee put the hosts on top as they shared the first round lead at the inaugural Volvik Hildesheim Open J Golf Series on Thursday.
They posted matching six-under-par 66s on the opening day of the $300,000 tournament in Jecheon, Korea, which is jointly sanctioned by the Asian and Korean Tours.
Ma, 22, mixed his card with five birdies, an eagle and a bogey while Lee enjoyed a flawless round that included an eagle-three on the 16th hole.
The Korean dominance of the first round was complete when Choi Ho-sung and Kim Dae-hyun posted 67s to take tied third place. (AFP)