Watson two ahead at Travelers

Bubba Watson hit a career-equalling low round of eight-under par 62 to put himself two strokes in front following the first round of the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

Watson has struggled since his third-place at the WGC Cadillac Championship in March, finishing tied 38th at the Masters, 17th at the WGC Cadillac Match Play, tied 42nd at The Players Championship before missing the cut at the US Open.

But the 36-year-old, whose first PGA Tour title came at this event in 2010, seemed to put this poor run of form behind him as he made a field-high nine birdies and one bogey, which resulted after a missed 12-foot par putt on the 16th.

It was on the 18th hole that Watson grabbed the most attention when he nearly holed an eagle from 139 yards. Instead, his approach shot struck the flag stick on the bounce and ended up just inches shy of the cup. He ended up converting a simple tap-in putt to finish his round with a birdie.

“Coming off a US Open, this golf course seems like it’s gettable, and we all feel that way,” the two-time Masters winner told EPSN.

“So the guys that played in the US Open maybe feel better about their game when they get here.”

“I just kept grinding it out. Whatever shot was called for, I tried to hit it, and somehow today, I hit it good.”

Sitting two strokes behind Watson is South Korea’s Seung-Yul Noh, Keegan Bradley, Brian Stuard, Harris English and Jason Gore as they all carded first-round 64s.

After competative showings at the U.S. Open, Patrick Reed and Brendan Grace enjoyed solid starts at TPC River Highlands, with the pair posting three-under 67s.

Defending champion Kevin Streelman found himself tied 76th on the leaderboard after a first-round 69, which included five birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-four 17th.

Louis Oosthuizen was not able to take the momentum from his second-place finish at Chambers Bay into his opening round in Connecticut, with the South African carding a one-over round of 71.