• Travelers Championship, Round One

No hangover for Simpson on return to action

ESPN staff
June 21, 2012
Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson share a joke © Getty Images


Fresh off his maiden major victory, US Open champion Webb Simpson made a bright start to the Travelers Championship on Thursday.

Paired with the last two major champions, Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley, Simpson posted a respectable round of 6x to sit two shots off the opening round lead.

Simpson started his round with a birdie and progressed smoothly from there, although a bogey at the par-three 16th after overshooting the green was the one blemish on an otherwise calm and collected round of 66.

Big-hitting Watson eventually signed for the same score - thanks in part to an eagle from the fairway at the par-four 10th - while Bradley, the third member of the group, was two shots worse off at two-under for the tournament.

American David Mathis shot 64 to claim the early lead.

Defending champion Fredrik Jacobson looked to be on course to hold the first round lead, before a double-bogey at the short but treacherous 16th left him forced to settle for a five-under par round.

Englishman Ian Poulter carded an opening round 70 at River Highlands to sit two-under for the tournament, one shot behind compatriot Brian Davis and two behind Gary Christian.

Elsewhere, Matt Kuchar is encouraging placed at three-under - while Hunter Mahan finished his opening round where he began at level par.

Zach Johnson, meanwhile, appeared to be on the way to an impressive round in Connecticut - until a double-bogey at the 15th and triple-bogey at the water-lined 17th left him two-over for the tournament.

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