Steele takes early lead at Travelers
06/19/2014 8:54 PM
06/19/2014 8:54 PM
Cromwell, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - Brendan Steele carded an 8-under-par 62 on Thursday and currently holds a 1-shot lead after the first round at the Travelers Championship.
Steele is seeking his second win on the PGA Tour and his first since winning the 2011 Texas Open.
Bud Cauley and Ryan Moore finished the first round tied for second at 7-under 63 and they both sit one shot back of Steele at TPC River Highlands.
Five players, including Scott Langley, are currently tied for fourth place at 6-under 64. Langley surged up the leaderboard on the back nine and got to within one shot of the lead, but he dropped a shot with a bogey on 17.
Langley is joined by Chad Campbell, Joe Durant, Jeff Maggert and Eric Axley at 6-under.
Ken Duke, who defeated Chris Stroud in a playoff at the Travelers last year to earn his first career victory, sits three shots back with six others at 5- under par. Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia, K.J. Choi, Brooks Koepka, Brad Fritsch and Doug LaBelle II are also at minus-5.
It appeared to be Steele's day right off the bat. On the par-4 first hole, Steele put his first drive of the tournament on the left side of the fairway, about 129 yards from the hole. He would knock his next shot right in for an eagle, putting Steele at 2-under very quickly.
Steele birdied the second hole followed by four straight pars. He would then birdie Nos. 7 and 8. The 59-watch was in effect when Steele made three straight birdies from No. 11, but he parred the final five holes to finish with a 62.
"The thoughts crept in," Steele said. "If they don't creep in, do I shoot 59, do I shoot 65? I don't know. That's hard to say, but it definitely was in the back of my mind, so probably amped me up a little bit more, so made everything a little bit tougher."
Steele's best finish this year came at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he tied for sixth at 13-under. Coming into the Travelers, Steele had missed the cut in his last two tournaments.
"I felt pretty good over the last couple months, but haven't been getting a lot out of it," Steele said. "I felt like I was really playing well at Byron Nelson and at Memorial and missed both cuts, and I think I was just getting a little sloppy, a little lazy behind the ball, not seeing the shot, not getting into it the right way, and so the misses got a little wider."
Cauley, who started his round on the back nine, parred his first four holes before pouring in a birdie at No. 14. An eagle at 15 and a birdie at 18 got him to 4-under at the turn. He would drop a shot at No. 2, but got it right back with a birdie at No. 3.
Cauley finished up strong with birdies at five, six and nine to put him just one shot back of the lead.
Moore also started his round on the back nine, which seemed to work in his favor as well. Birdies at 13, 14, 15 and 17 had Moore off and running early. He parred his next five holes before recording a birdie on five and an eagle on the par-5 sixth.
A bogey on No. 7 dropped Moore back to 6-under, but a par on No. 8 and a birdie to finish off his round also left him one shot back at 7-under.
NOTES: Bubba Watson, the 2010 Travelers champion, finished the first round at 3-under and is tied for 28th place ... Trevor Immelman (68) made an albatross from 246 yards away on the par-5 13th. The shot put Immelman at 4-under at the time ... Patrick Rodgers (66), Oliver Goss (70), Bobby Wyatt (72) and Cameron Wilson (73) all made their professional debuts Thursday.