CROMWELL, Conn. — Brendan Steele shot an 8-under 62 in the morning session to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Travelers Championship.
The 31-year-old Californian opened with an eagle, holing a 129-yard wedge shot in the rain. He birdied six of the next 12 holes at TPC River Highlands, and closed the bogey-free round with five straight pars.
Another Californian, Davis High graduate Nick Watney, was eight shots behind Steele after shooting an even-par 70 on Thursday. Watney started and finished well — including birdies on 17 and 18 — but went through a stretch in the middle of his round that featured a double bogey and a bogey in the span of three holes.
Steele finished two shots off the course record set by Patrick Cantlay in 2011 as an amateur.
Bud Cauley and Ryan Moore shot 63, and Chad Campbell, Joe Durant, Scott Langley, Eric Axley and Jeff Maggert followed at 64.
Former Stanford stars Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson made their pro debuts, with Rodgers shooting a 66, and Wilson a 73. Rodgers won 11 college tournaments and this year’s Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus awards as the nation’s top college player. Wilson won the NCAA individual title.