CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — A hole-in-one on the 154-yard 11th hole helped Tag Ridings of Roanoke, Texas, to a first-round 64 at the Travelers Championship.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve had one of those,” said Ridings, who used a 9-iron to hole his ace, the first on the course since 2007, just the fifth ace on that hole, and the 11th hole-in-one in an opening round of the Connecticut tournament.

“I’d been a little apprehensive on some of my iron shots starting off the day. So, two holes earlier, I decided to free it up, and it was perfect, I guess. I talked myself into loosening up on that swing, and it worked.”

GREAT START: Connecticut native J.J. Henry couldn’t have asked for a better start in his bid to win his second title at TPC River Highlands in three years.

He shot an eagle his first hole of the opening round of the Travelers Championship on Thursday. Unfortunately, almost no one saw the hometown favorite hole his 114-yard chip shot. Henry teed off at 7:21 in the morning.

“It was a heck of a start, that’s for sure,” said Henry, who is from Fairfield, about an hour’s drive from the course. “I hit a perfect (309-yard) drive on the first hole and then knocked a gap wedge in there. It took one bounce and hopped in the hole for a nice little two.”


Henry added two birdies and, without a bogey on his card, finished at four-under 66. John Merrick, teeing off less than an hour after Henry, eagled the same hole en route to a five-under 65.

MELTDOWN: Spencer Levin of Elk Grove, Calif., was one good tee shot away from tying for the early first-day lead until his drive on the 18th found the rough, only inches from a fairway bunker.

When Levin hit his approach shot, he raced up the fairway and jumped into the air to follow the flight of the ball. When it landed in a greenside bunker, Levin leaned over and threw his club at the ground in disgust.

FED CUP?: Sergio Garcia was hearing it from soccer fans Thursday, who razzed him about the U.S. team’s win over his native Spain in the Confederation Cup semifinals.

Garcia said he only noticed the heckling once, after he hit a shot into the water on the 17th hole.

“But, it doesn’t bother me,” Garcia said. “I’m happy for the U.S. that they won. I think that they played very good. Spain had great chances, and unfortunately the U.S. defense was very good.”

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