CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — 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.
Steele finished two shots off the course record set by Patrick Cantlay in 2011 as an amateur.
"On 14, I started to think 59, which is probably why I slowed down a little bit," Steele said.
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.
Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, coming off a second-place tie in the U.S. Open, shot a 74.
Steele and Cauley went out in a steady rain Thursday morning, but by noon the sun had broken through.
"It took the rain pretty well," said Masters champion Bubba Watson, who shot a 67 and was among 75 players to break par. "It's kind of soft, but not too windy, so you can score around it."
But nobody could catch Steele, who is shooting for his third top-10 finish this season after failing to qualify for the U.S. Open. He instead watched from the stands as his favorite hockey team, the Los Angeles Kings, won the Stanley Cup.
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