In a vacuum, Charley Hoffman taking the 1st-round lead at the Travelers Championship isn’t surprising. After all, Hoffman has four top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in his 15 career starts, and he’s already earned over $1 million for his efforts. However, there was something pretty special about his Thursday round at the TPC River Highlands.
Hoffman shot a 61.
On the day, Hoffman made 5 birdies and 2 eagles to card a 9-under 61 in route to the 1-shot lead. He fell just one shot of the course record of 60, but it was an absolutely electric showing from the 36-year-old. It is somewhat shocking to see a player shoot a 61 and only lead by 1 shot, but Hunter Mahan followed suit with a blistering 62, and both players flirted with the harrowed 59 mark during the round.
It was the back 9 that was especially ridiculous for Hoffman, as he came in with a 28 (par 35). The impetus of that run was a 5-under stretch on holes 10 through 13, where he bookended the stretch with eagles, and added a birdie on the more-difficult 12th.
There is a long way to go at the Travelers, but Hoffman certainly announced his presence with authority on Thursday.