Travelers Championship 2021: Hickok, Kodaira Share 1-Shot Lead After Round 1

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Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

We’ve got a first-round tie at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. 

Kramer Hickok and Satoshi Kodaira shared an opening-round lead after shooting 7-under 63s on Thursday, though they aren’t the only golfers in the running. Talor Gooch is nipping at their heels at 6 under, while five players (Maverick McNealy, Bruce Garnett, Beau Hossler, Henrik Norlander and Patrick Rodgers) are all two strokes back. 

Hickok, Jordan Spieth’s former Texas teammate and roommate, said a late change in strategy on Thursday morning seemed to do the trick:

“I got off to like the worst warm-up session of the year this morning and was just hitting it everywhere, and so I really changed my strategy,” he told reporters. “I was just trying to play a little bit more conservative, hit greens, and once the putts started to fall, I just knew it really freed me up.”

“I don’t know if it’s a mentality, you just take a lot weight off your shoulders and you just go and simplify things,” he added. “That’s what I did. I just said, you know what? I got my C-game, but just by recognizing that I had my C-game I was able to play to an A-level today. And certainly 7 under is my A game.”

Hickok barely erred on Thursday, finishing with eight birdies and just one bogey. He hit a ridiculous 88.9 percent of greens in regulation and gained 3.416 strokes putting, per PGATour.com.

Like his counterpart, Kodaira finished with just one bogey on the day, adding six birdies and an eagle. He was nearly as good in his driving, hitting 83.3 percent of greens in regulation, and even better in his putting, gaining 3.882 strokes. 

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Birdie ➡️ Eagle ➡️ Birdie

A 4-under start to the back nine moves Satoshi Kodaira into the top spot. He’s 8-under thru 12. https://t.co/9d50OpoKzz

Other notable finishers on Thursday included Zack Johnson (-4), Bubba Watson (-4), Bryson DeChambeau (-1), Patrick Reed (-1), Adam Scott (-1) Jason Day (-1), Rickie Fowler (-1), Phil Mickelson (-1), Brooks Koepka (-1) and Dustin Johnson (even). 

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The putts keep falling @TPCRH.

Back-to-back birdies for @DJohnsonPGA. ?? https://t.co/TDAP77CLIc

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

@PhilMickelson’s 63′ 8″ birdie putt was his…
✔️ Longest putt of the season
✔️ 2nd longest putt made in the ShotLink era
✔️ 3rd putt made outside 60 ft. since 2003 https://t.co/yOOowOxcfK

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

3 in a row. ???

@PReedGolf is showing off this morning. https://t.co/6XM6mZX0T2

However, most of those players will have their work cut out for them to catch Hickok and Kodaira. 

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