June 20 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- Six years ago, Hunter Mahan got his first career win at the Travelers Championship.
He shot 62 in the opening round that year.
Thursday must’ve felt like déjà vu for Mahan, who again shot 62 to take the early lead at TPC River Highlands.
“There are a lot of course I like, but I haven't had the success I've had here,” Mahan said. “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.”
Mahan needed just 27 putts after hitting 16 greens in the opening round. He also missed just one fairway, and in his last two rounds here is a combined 17 under after finishing second last year following a final-round 61.
Conditions were also ripe for scoring Thursday with no wind and temperatures in the low 70s under sunny skies.
It didn’t take long for Mahan to get going, either.
He birdied the first hole of the day, the par-4 10th, where he hit what he called his best shot of the day, a 6-iron from 180 yards to 7 feet.
“He didn’t miss a whole lot,” said Rickie Fowler, who played alongside Mahan. “There are a lot of birdies out there.”
Mahan added three more birdies on Nos. 13 through 15, including a 31-footer on the latter. After another on 17, Mahan made the turn in 30 before rolling in three more birdies on the front nine.
“When I birdied the par‑5 (No. 6), I thought about the chance to birdie the last three to maybe get to 60 or 59,” he said. “Just had a misread on 8 and 7. But I was definitely thinking about it for sure.”
He wasn’t the only one to take advantage of conditions. Four others, including Webb Simpson, shot 65.