CROMWELL -- While golfer Rickie Fowler marched in the Opening Ceremonies to represent the United States at the Summer Olympics in Rio, his three teammates were getting ready for a weekend of golf at the Travelers Championship.
Matt Kuchar was the best of the group, standing at 4-under 136 after the midway point. Defending champion Bubba Watson shot even par Friday to stand at 3-under, as did Patrick Reed following his 67 on his 26th birthday.
"Of course. You always have the USA chants. I mean, once we finished this last hole, two or three of us birdied it, Bubba tried to get them to start cheering happy birthday for about the fifth or sixth time on the day," Reed said. "It was unsuccessful, because all you heard was USA the whole time. It was really cool. Just hopefully play a pretty good weekend here and get some momentum going into next week."
Kuchar was at 3-over par through 10 holes during his opening round, but played 7-under over his final 26 holes to get within three strokes of the leaders.
"Glad I didn't let the bad start get the best of me. Turned a bad round (Thursday) into a respectable round," Kuchar said. "I'm sitting at 4-under. With a good weekend, you never know, might have a chance."
Then there is the two-time champion. Watson would love to make it a three wins here at TPC River Highlands, but he is also looking forward to next week.
"For golfers to be called Olympians, what a thrill, what a privilege, what an honor," Watson said. "You know Patrick used the bag, Matt used some of the clothes. No, we all get excited."
The 72-hole stroke play tournament for the Olympics in Rio begins next Friday.
You have to go enjoy the experience. Carry the flag high and strong, because you need to go and represent the country and play well and also carry yourself well," Reed said.
This article was written by Joe Morelli from New Haven Register, Conn. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.