Well, it looks as if Hunter Mahan is continuing his domination of TPC River Highlands and the Travelers Championship. He is already the career money leader at the event. His 2013 tournament got off to a hot start, as well. Mahan turned in a blemish-free scorecard en route to a first round score of 62 – good for eight under par and an early three stroke lead over John Merrick, Webb Simpson and Rod Pampling. Many of the afternoon groups are just getting underway, so we’ll have to wait and see if Mahan’s 62 holds up after all is said and done in the first round.
He started on the back nine and didn’t waste much time getting the birdie train moving. He started the round with a birdie and finished his first nine at five under par. He carded three more birdies on the back nine for good measure. He hit almost 90% of greens in regulation in the first round in addition to 92% of fairways and is averaging 1.625 putts per hole. That’s a pretty solid start at any event, for any golfer.
The popular, trendy pick doesn’t always come through, but it was hard to bet against Mahan this week. He’s seemed to own this course throughout the entirety of his career. I know I had him pegged as the favorite early in the week based upon his history here as well as his performance at the U.S. Open last week. Granted, Merion Golf Club is markedly more difficult than what the players will face this week in Connecticut – especially when set up for a major championship.
It’s obviously still early in the tournament, but Mahan supporters have to be pleased with how he got things going early.