Tom Watson took advantage of an early tee time to shoot a four-under-par 66 and earn the clubhouse lead in the opening round of the U.S. Senior Open on Thursday at Sacramento.
With the temperature expected to soar to 104 degrees in the afternoon, Watson worked through Del Paso Country Club before the scorching heat in California's capital city intensified. The eight-time major champion overcame a double bogey before the turn and had four birdies in his final nine holes.
Michael Allen and Lee Janzen each finished at 67.
Defending U.S. Senior Open champion Colin Montgomerie and Champions Tour stalwart Bernhard Langer were among those teeing off in the afternoon. Montgomerie and Langer have combined to win six of the last seven senior majors.
Bubba Watson hit his approach shot within inches on the final hole for the last of his nine birdies in an eight-under 62 in the first round of the Travelers Championship at Cromwell, Conn.
Watson had a two-stroke lead in the event he won in 2010 for his first PGA Tour title. He has finished in the top 20 five times in eight previous starts at TPC River Highlands.
The two-time Masters champion just missed an eagle on the par-four 18th hole, hitting a 139-yard second shot that bounced into the flagstick and rolled four inches past the cup.
Keegan Bradley was tied for second with Jason Gore, Seung-Yul Noh, Brian Stuard and Harris English, who shot a 30 on the back nine. Eight players shot 65, and 12 more opened at 66.