Bubba Watson hit to inches on the final hole for the last his nine birdies in an 8-under 62 on Thursday in the first round of the Travelers Championship.

Watson had a two-stroke lead in the event he won in 2010 for his first PGA Tour title. He has finished in the top 20 five times in eight previous starts at TPC River Highlands.

The two-time Masters champion just missed an eagle on the par-4 18th hole, hitting a 139-yard second shot that bounced into the flagstick and rolled 4 inches past the cup.

Keegan Bradley was tied for second with Jason Gore, Seung-yul Noh, Brian Stuard and Harris English, who shot a 30 on the back nine. Eight players shot 65, and 12 more opened at 66.

Tom Watson takes one-stroke lead

Tom Watson shot 4-under 68 in cooler morning conditions to take a one-stroke lead in the U.S. Senior Open.

With the temperature soaring over 100 degrees in the afternoon, the 65-year-old Watson worked through Del Paso Country Club before the scorching heat intensified. The eight-time major champion overcame an early double bogey and had four birdies in a six-hole stretch after the turn.

Michael Allen, Lee Janzen, Jeff Hart, Jim Carter, P.H. Horgan and Woody Austin shot 67.

Defending champion Colin Montgomerie and Champions Tour stalwart Bernhard Langer, who have won six of the past seven senior majors, played in the afternoon heat. Montgomerie shot 68, and Langer 71.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Homers up in CWS

The 15 home runs hit in 16 College World Series games this year were the most since the tournament moved to TD Ameritrade Park in 2011 and they mirrored the increased offense across Division I this season.

The NCAA put a new flat-seam ball into play this year to counter severe drops in offense since bat specifications changed five years ago. The new ball replaced the more wind-resistant raised-seam ball.

College baseball officials were especially interested in how the ball would play in Omaha's expansive stadium. Home run totals during the first four years of the CWS in TD Ameritrade Park were nine, 10, three and three.

college basketball

Syracuse names Boeheim heir

Syracuse men's basketball assistant Mike Hopkins was formally given the title of head coach designate to succeed Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim after the 2017-18 season.

A former Orange captain, Hopkins has served on Boeheim's staff for 19 seasons. Syracuse won the NCAA title in 2003.

Hopkins said in a statement that "I'm honored, humbled and grateful for this special opportunity. Very few people are afforded the privilege to coach at their alma mater."

Boeheim says Hopkins "has truly earned this honor through his hard work, dedication and commitment to our program for more than 20 years" and that "there is no one more ready or prepared to carry on the success of Syracuse basketball."

AROUND THE HORN

NFL: Tommy Hudspeth, a Detroit Lions coach in the 1970s who also coached in college at BYU and UTEP, died at 83. Hudspeth coached the Lions in 1976 and 1977, going 11-13. … Authorities in Las Vegas have charged NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp with biting his girlfriend, throwing her to the ground and stepping on her head in an April incident that began at the M Resort in Henderson, Nevada.

NHL: The Avalanche acquired Swedish forward Carl Soderberg from the Bruins for a sixth-round pick in 2016. The 29-year-old Soderberg had 13 goals and 31 assists last season.

Prep basketball: The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association board voted to change varsity games from four eight-minute quarters to two 18-minute halves for a one-year trial.

ASSOCIATED PRESS