CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — 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.
“It’s 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 ways.”
New England 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.
“Coming off 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 here.”
Watson, playing 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 fringe.