The first round of the 2020 Travelers Championship welcomed 156 players to TPC River Highlands on Thursday, with a familiar name owning the lead – and a tournament record – after 18 holes.
Mackenzie Hughes made history by shooting a 10-under-par 60, the lowest first-round score ever at the Travelers Championship. The previous low first-round score was 61, by Kenny Perry in 2009 and Charley Hoffman in 2013. Now the record belongs to Hughes, a 29-year-old Canadian who was tied for the first-round lead at the 2019 Travelers Championship. One year later, with 10 birdies and no bogeys at TPC River Highlands, Hughes built a three-shot lead over a pair of top-10 players – No. 1 Rory McIlroy and No. 10 Xander Schauffele – along with Viktor Hovland.
Hughes had a chance to shoot 59, but his birdie putt on the ninth hole (his 18th) missed. The 60 marks the lowest score in Hughes’s PGA TOUR career, which features a victory at the 2017 RSM Classic. It also continues a first-round trend at the Travelers Championship for Hughes: In four tournament appearances, Hughes has shot 67, 67, 64 and now 60 in the first round. His best tournament finish was a tie for 17th in 2017.
Phil Mickelson shot a bogey-free 64 and was part of a six-player group four shots back at 6-under. Defending champion Chez Reavie opened with an even-par 70, while Bubba Watson, looking to join Billy Casper as the only four-time winner of the tournament, shot 69.
The second round of play will take place Friday, after which the 36-hole cut will be made at the low 65 players and ties. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is a TV-only event with no fans permitted on the grounds at TPC River Highlands. Second-round coverage will be on the Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. EDT.