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Cantlay (66) stumbled to finish, feels like he can 'birdie every hole' at Travelers

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CROMWELL, Conn. – One bad swing cost Patrick Cantlay the early lead Thursday at the Travelers Championship.

Cantlay was cruising along at 6 under when he reached the par-3 8th, his second to last hole of the day.

Bogey-free to that point, Cantlay ended up making double after his tee ball came up 30 yards short of the flag – and in the water.

“Just hit it a little fat, and it's got to get up in the air to get the wind,” he explained. “It was downwind and didn't get the wind because I hit it fat and it went in the water.”

A closing par left him to sign for 4-under 66, two off the pace through the early wave.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

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Considering the season he’s had to date, it’s become more of a surprise when Cantlay isn’t hanging around the lead. In 15 starts, he’s racked up eight top-10s, including two thirds, a runner-up, and his second PGA Tour victory earlier this month at the Memorial.

TPC River Highlands should also bring back some fond memories for Cantlay, who as a 19-year-old freshman at UCLA took the Day 2 lead here in 2011 with a then-course-record round of 60.

“I definitely look back here on that round with fond memories,” he said. “It was like only my second tour event and I wasn't really expecting to come out and shoot a score like that.

“But, yeah, it's nice to come back to a place where you've had success. I definitely feel comfortable around here. It's one of the only golf courses I think I get on the first tee at the beginning of the day and think I can birdie every hole. That's what it feels like.”