Mathis surges into lead with 64
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...
CROMWELL, Conn. — 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 finished 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.
"We were relaxed all day," Simpson said. "Bubba is my Presidents Cup partner. We always laugh together. And I've played a lot of golf with Keegan this year. He's a good friend. We had a lot of fun feeding off each other, and luckily, we all played well."
Mathis' ace was the shot of the day. He said he was just trying to cut a nine iron close to the pin and hit it exactly where he aimed.
"It kind of bounced and stumbled right and went right in the hole," he said.
"I knew it was going to be challenging in this heat, and if you start to miss a few shots, it can get to you," he said. "So I was just happy to get through this day."
A gallery of fans five and six deep greeted Simpson, Watson and Bradley on the first tee.
"Any time you can play with those guys, it's fun," Watson said. "We learn from each other. We watch each other."
Kyle Stanley from Gig Harbor shot a 70. Ryan Moore of Puyallup and former Husky Richard H. Lee shot 72s. Former Husky Troy Kelly had a 75, and Michael Putnam from University Place shot a 78.
• Sandra Changkija birdied six of her final eight holes for a career-best 8-under 63 and a three-stroke lead during the suspended first round of the inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario. Seventy-two players were unable to finish the round.
China's Shanshan Feng, coming off a major victory two weeks ago in the LPGA Championship, shot a 66. Sweden's Anna Nordqvist also was 5 under with five holes left.
Michelle Wie, trying to break out of a seasonlong slump, had a 70.
Wendy Ward, who lives near Edwall, outside Spokane, had a 72. Former Husky Paige Mackenzie was 4 over after eight holes.
• Australia's Marcus Fraser and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti shot 8-under 64s to share the first-round lead in the BMW International Open in Pulheim, Germany.