Golf: Akshay tied second at Travelers Championship; Tom Kim in lead after Rd 1

Cromwell (USA), June 21 (IANS) Akshay Bhatia, an Indian-American, was lying Tied-second after the first round of the Travelers Championship. Bhatia shot 6-under 64 as Korea’s Tom Kim fired his lowest score of the season with a blistering 8-under 62 for a two-shot lead. Making his tournament debut, Bhatia was bogey-free with four birdies and an eagle, while Kim, also bogey-free, had eight birdies.

This was Bhatia’s fourth round of 64 or better this season and by winning this event, he is hoping to become the third lefthanders who have won this event in the last 25 years after Phil Mickelson (2001, 2002), Bubba Watson (2010, 2015, 2018)

Another Indian American Sahith Theegala (71) was T-33.

Bhatia shared the second place with Rickie Fowler, Will Zalatoris, and Kurt Kitayama, who all shot 64s at TPC River Highlands. Kim is chasing a fourth PGA TOUR victory on his birthday week and Bhatia is seeking a third PGA Tour win. Bhatia won a title last year and one this year, just before the Masters.

Kim, who turns 22 on Friday, put on a stellar show with a hot putter delivering eight birdies and his career-first 18-hole lead on TOUR ahead of Akshay

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler was amongst those lying a further stroke back while Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who signed for Boston Common Golf earlier this week for the inaugural TGL presented by SoFi starting next January, returned a 66. They were tied for sixth.

Matsuyama, a nine-time PGA TOUR winner, ended the first round in tied 13th place after finishing strongly with four birdies over his last five holes while Korea’s Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim shot a 67 and 69 respectively. Another Korean, Byeong Hun An, withdrew during the first round due to illness.

–IANS

bsk/bsk/

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