By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- Justin Rose just wanted to get the first round out of the way.
Playing for the first time since winning the U.S. Open on Sunday and a whirlwind media tour through New York City that followed, Rose shot a 3-under 67 in the opening round of the Travelers Championship.
"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," Rose said. "That's an achievement that I've been dreaming about."
Rose birdied the first hole before making what he called a few "mental errors" -- a three-putt on No. 3, a missed par save from 7 feet on 4 and another from 5 feet on the par-5 sixth.
Then he woke up, playing his last 12 holes in 5 under. He's six strokes off the lead of Charley Hoffman after the opening round.
"I had a sluggish four or five holes where I struggled, but I stayed patient," Rose said. "I've stayed sort of committed to the same things that worked so well for me last week. That was my goal today, really."
TPC River Highlands played nothing like Merion a week ago of course.
A week after no one finished under par, 65 players broke par in pristine conditions on Thursday.
"When you play a tournament like this, it's about keeping steady pace," Rose said. "If you put four rounds in the mid‑60s together, you're going to be very, very close."
Rose was just happy to have the first one as a newly crowned major champion out of the way.