Another day of perfect weather welcomed the start of the 2021 Travelers Championship. When the first round ended, two players who had career days shared the lead at 7-under-par.
Kramer Hickock and Satoshi Kodaira each shot 63 at TPC River Highlands on Thursday, good for a one-shot lead over Talor Gooch. Maverick McNealy, Brice Garnett, Beau Hossler, Patrick Rodgers and Henrik Norlander were two shots back at 5-under 65.
Fog delayed the start of play by 15 minutes in the morning. Once that cleared, a day of birdies and low scoring soon followed. Of the 156 players in the field, nearly half (75) broke par. They were led by Hickock, whose previous low score on the PGA TOUR was a 64. Kodaira’s 63 matched his career-low TOUR round.
Kodaira held the outright lead at 8-under before he bogeyed the eighth hole, his 17th of the day. Kodaira’s round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-4 second hole, when he holed out from 81 yards. Hickok had 11 threes on his scorecard, with his only bogey coming at the par-4 10th hole.
Three-time Travelers Championship winner Bubba Watson led the pack at 4-under-par. Reigning PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson opened with a 1-under-par 69, as did Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. Defending champion Dustin Johnson birdied his final two holes to shoot 70.
The second round of competition is scheduled for Friday, with Golf Channel providing live coverage from 3 to 6 p.m. EDT. The 36-hole cut will be the low 65 players and ties.