CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) _ Ailing shoulder and all, Chris DiMarco shot a 6-under par 64 Thursday to take an early first-round lead into the clubhouse at the Travelers Championship.
Several other golfers, including Vijay Singh, Masters champion Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Kenny Perry remained on the course in striking distance.
DiMarco, who hasn't won on the PGA Tour since 2002, has been playing with arthritis, tendinitis and a bone spur in his left shoulder for about three months.
But two recent cortisone shots and a slight adjustment to his swing seemed to ease his pain, and allow him to focus on golf, he said.
``It felt a lot better out there today,'' he said. ``Three weeks ago, every shot I hit, whether it was a 70-yard lob wedge or whatever, it would pop.''
Three golfers were in the clubhouse a shot back at 65, including rookie Michael Sim of Australia, who shot 29 on his closing nine holes.
``You know how it is, once you get on a roll, you just make birdies,'' he said.
DiMarco said he tinkered with his putting grip, which seemed to help his short game. He hit just 26 putts on the day.
``I made a bunch of good little putts today,'' he said. ``When you make those, confidence breeds and you make longer ones.''
The best shot of the day came from Craig Perks of New Zealand who aced the 202-yard par-three eighth hole.
Perks, who shot a four-over-par 74 in the first round, took home a gold Rolex watch for his effort.
Defending champion J.J. Henry, who is from Fairfield, Conn., shot a 2-under 68.
Singh came into the tournament in third place in the race for the Fedex Cup. He has a chance to make up ground on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, neither of whom are playing at the Travelers.