Travelers Championship. Cheerful Charlie Shoots 61.

Cheerful Charlie Hoffman opened the Travelers Championship with a first round -9 under par 61, to lead by one shot from Hunter Mahan.

Travelers, Round 1

Charley Hoffman / Getty Images

Charley had thoughts of a 59, but was remembering last year when he was in contention here and finished double-bogey,bogey;

“It sort of crossed my mind, but not for long, I learned that 16, 17, 18 aren’t an easy test. Believe it or not, I was thinking about last year going down 16, 17, 18. If I could have just gotten those balls in play, I would have been defending champion here. But this year, I got off to a good start and was obviously a little more focused on those last two holes. Hopefully I’m there again this year. It’s nice to come back after that finish last year.”

Hunter Mahan is in second place, fresh from his great effort in the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. Hunter was close behind Charley, at -8 under par 62.

Hunter said he likes this TPC River Highlands course, and he was also thinking of 59;

” There are a lot of courses I like, but I haven’t had the success I’ve had here. I think this is the most comfortable course on TOUR for me. I feel like I have a good sense of these greens, I can read them really well.  When you have confidence in what you see, it makes your stroke a lot easier. When I birdied the par‑5  sixth hole, I thought about the chance to birdie the last three to maybe get to 60 or 59. Just had a misread on 8 and 7.  But I was definitely thinking about it for sure.”

Bubba Watson is in third spot with his -7 under par 63 opening round, he too is coming off a tough week at Merion. Bubba scored an Eagle today, driving the green to about six feet on the par four 15th hole.

Justin Rose, the U.S. Open Champion is here, and he opened with a -3 under par round of 67;

” The announcement on the first tee today, being announced as the 2013 U.S. Open champion, I couldn’t help but smile before I hit my first tee shot. That’s an achievement that I’ve been dreaming about. I had a sluggish four or five holes where I struggled, but I stayed patient, I’ve stayed sort of committed to the same things that worked so well for me last week. That was my goal today, really. When you play a tournament like this, it’s about keeping steady pace. If you put four rounds in the mid‑60s together, you’re going to be very, very close.”

This going to be a really low scoring tournament and will be good fun to watch, a welcome release for the players after last weeks grueling encounter.


U.S. Open @ Olympic, three tied at the top after second round.


There are three players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the second round at  Olympic club on Friday.                                                               They are Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms, who all finished the day at -1 under par for the tournament. The smart money is still on Tiger Woods, although Jim and David will not shy away from pushing Tiger all the way, and stop him in his tracks in his pursuit of Jack’s record.

Tiger's right there

Tiger Still Prowling / Franklin/Getty Images

They know the way

Graeme McDowell / Jim Furyk                                                                          

Old Champs still plodding along / Redington/Getty Images

They are also the only players who managed to get under par for the 36 holes, the nearest challengers are at +1 over par, and there are four of them; John Peterson, Nicolas Colsaerts, Graeme McDowell and first round leader Michael Thompson.

Justin Rose slipped back with a sorry round of 75 to finish at +4, and Lee Westwood finished at + 5 over par for the tournament, along with Ian Poulter who also suffered with a 75 in his second round. Phil Mickelson had a better second round, a 71, to finish the day at +7, to make the cut. Phil said he was happy to make the weekend;

“I had a really good thing happen yesterday,I hit balls after the round, and I had this really good breakthrough. I felt much better with the ball striking and was able to work it. Just a slight thing on the setup. It wasn’t allowing me to bring the club back where I wanted to and on an inside path. I was taking it outside, and I was getting it in a bad position from the start. I played well enough today to shoot under par and I have to shoot 3 or 4 under par tomorrow to have a chance for Sunday. It’s out there, but it’s very difficult. You’ve got to strike it well, but you’ve got to make some putts and  that’s just the one part that kind of let me down today.”

Notables missing the cut beginning with those who were hopelessly out of touch; Michael Campbell +13, Vijay Singh +13, Stewart Cink +12  Spencer Levin +11, world number one Luke Donald +11, defending champion Rory McIlroy +10.

Others just missing the cut line which was set  at +8, were; Bubba Watson, Y.E. Yang, Louis Oosthuizen, who were all at +9 over par.

Young Chinese player Andy Zhang also missed the cut finishing with a tournament score of +16 over par.