Ace puts Mathis ahead
Ace from American helps put him on top in the Travelers
Last Updated: 22/06/12 8:39am
David Mathis: Hole in one at the Travelers
American David Mathis shot a hole-in-one on his way to taking a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Travelers Championship.
Mathis hit his ace between two birdies in his opening three holes and rode that starting wave to a round of six under par 64 on the TPC River Highlands layout.
Sweden's defending champion Fredrik Jacobson, Australian Nathan Green and American Will Claxton are all one behind on Mathis on 65.
The first round featured scorching temperatures near 100 degrees and a hot pairing of major champions with US Open victor Webb Simpson playing alongside fellow Americans Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley.
First round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-6 D Mathis
-5 N Green (Aus)
-5 W Claxton
-5 F Jacobson (Swe)
-4 W Simpson
Click here for collated scores
Watson, a winner of the Travelers Championship in 2010, started his round with consecutive birdies and the back nine with an eagle on the par four 10th after holing out from 137 yards.
He finished at four-under 66 along with Simpson, who got to five under with a birdie at 15 but slipped back with a bogey at the next.
Bradley, winner of the 2011 PGA Championship, finished at two under.
After his life-changing week at Olympic Club, new US Open champion Simpson said: "I'm definitely pleased. I knew it was going to be a tough round to come out and really focus and put last week behind me, but we got off to a good start as a group, two of us birdied one, and it was just fun playing with those guys, and we just kind of fed off each other and just played a good solid round.
"I'm definitely pleased. I knew it was going to be a tough round to come out and really focus and put last week behind me."
New US Open champion Webb Simpson on his opening 66 Quotes of the week
"There's a lot of birdies to be made, and it's easy to go from a course like Olympic and come here and kind of shut your mind off and just hit golf shots.
"But luckily the course played firm. It was playing difficult and they had a lot of tough pins, so I think that kind of played into my advantage."
As for his energy levels after the gruelling week in San Francisco, Simpson added: "I'm good. I went home, got some sleep, saw my son and it kind of reenergized me."
The group at four under also contains Rocco Mediate, runner-up to Tiger Woods in the memorable US Open play-off of 2008, as well as South African Tim Clark and England's Gary Christian.
Ian Poulter joined Bradley on two-under, one behind another Englishman in Brian Davis, while Ireland's Padraig Harrington followed up his fourth place at the US Open with an opening 69.