THE Travelers Championship suffers a little being the week after the US Open but this year there is an added incentive for many players with four places in the upcoming British Open up for grabs.
Bubba Watson is already headed for St Andrews but obviously likes this event. It was the scene of his first career victory five years ago and after the first round he had a two stroke lead over the field after a birdie-fest 8–under 62 at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
“Coming off a U.S. Open every golf course we play is going to feel easier,” Watson said after his nine birdie round. “So coming off that golf course, it doesn’t matter what you shoot. It’s hard to make birdies around there. Around here you can make birdies. You have perfect greens.”
Australia’s Marc Leishman (70) is another whose first [and for Marc only US PGA Tour win] victory was at this event [in 2012]. He’ll be smarting a little after missing the cut at Chambers Bay but already has a slot at The Open, as does fellow competitor Greg Chalmers (70).
After the first round the leading Aussies were Steven Bowditch (pictured) and Aaron Baddeley on 2-under . Both would love a trip across the Atlantic. (The four British Open spots go to the top finishing golfers not already qualified).
Cameron Percy was at 1-under with Robert Allenby, Matt Jones and Cameron Smith with work to do. The 21 year old Smith, a star performer at the US Open, had a slow start finishing at 3-over.
2015 Travelers Championship Leaderboard2015 Travelers Championship Leaderboard