Hoffman leads at Travelers Championship

CROMWELL, Conn., June 20 (UPI) -- Charley Hoffman needed just 28 shots to play the back nine Thursday and shot a 9-under 61 that gave him the lead after one round of the Travelers Championship.

Justin Rose, introduced for the first time as U.S. Open champion, settled for a 67 and a tie for 18th place during a day of very low scoring at the TPC-River Highlands course.


Hoffman has won twice on the PGA Tour, his most recent victory coming during the 2010 FedEx Cup playoffs at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

He made the turn in 2-under Thursday, then recorded three birdies and two eagles on the final nine holes.

Hoffman had a one-shot lead over Hunter Mahan, who played in the final group on Sunday at the U.S. Open, and a two-shot advantage over Bubba Watson.

John Merrick, Zach Johnson, Graham DeLaet, Camilo Villegas, Rod Pampling and 2012 U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson shared fourth place at 65.


John Daly, who has survived the 36-hole cut in just four of his 10 appearances on the tour this year, shot a 68 that put him in a tie for 34th.

Hoffman has been on the edge of contention in his two most recent starts, but poor fourth rounds have knocked him back in the pack. He shot an 81 at The Memorial to wind up tied for 63rd and then had a 79 to finish the U.S. Open in a tie for 45th.

There were 65 sub-par rounds shot Thursday.

Rose, who won by two last week at the Merion Golf Club for his first major title, bogeyed three out of four holes beginning at the third. He fought back, however, with four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine.

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