Watson maintains two-shot lead in Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. — Bubba Watson was forced to think a bit more Friday at the Travelers Championship, where the wind was a little stronger, the greens a bit firmer and the pin placements more challenging.
The long-hitting lefty shot a 3-under 67 to maintain the two-stroke lead he took with an opening 62.
"(Thursday) I added it up after I left the media center, I had three holes I didn't have a wedge into," he said. "Today was different, because the wind conditions were different. They were faster and it was coming from a different direction, so it made the golf course a little bit tougher."
The two-time Masters champion is trying to become the first wire-to-wire winner at TPC River Highlands since Peter Jacobsen in 2003.
Watson won his first PGA Tour title at the 2010 event and has finished in the top 20 five times in eight previous starts. He tied for sixth in 2008, tied for second in 2012, and finished fourth in 2013.
He was delayed in talking to the media Friday after being pulled for a random drug test, something he saw as a positive sign.
"I hope I passed it," he joked. "It's usually when you're at the top of the leaderboard they want to drug test you, especially me."
Brian Harman birdied two of his final three holes during an afternoon round of 65 to join Brian Stuard and Carl Pettersson at 9 under.
Stuard, who followed an opening 64 with a 67, pulled within a shot of Watson after back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16. But he bogeyed the 17th after hitting his second shot over the green and missing an 8-foot par putt. He then saved par on the 18th with a 19-foot putt.
"That was kind of a nice momentum-keeper going into the weekend," he said.
Pettersson, started on the back nine at shot a 31 on those holes, before finishing with a 66.
The back nine was less affected by the wind than the front, where a headwind had several holes playing longer than their yardage.
Scott Brown had a double bogey on his first hole and posted a 38 on the front. But after making par on the 10th, he reeled off six straight birdies to finish with a 67. He was 8 under, tied for fifth place with Jason Gore and Chris Stroud, who is still looking for his first tour win after losing here in a playoff to Ken Duke in 2013.
U.S. SENIOR OPEN: At Sacramento, Calif., Tom Watson withstood the scorching heat to shoot a 1-under 69, finishing in a three-way tie atop the bunched leaderboard after the second round of the U.S. Senior Open.
Watson was joined at 5 under for the championship by Jeff Maggert and Peter Fowler. Maggert shot a 65, and Fowler a 66 in their morning rounds.
But all the attention turned to Watson, the 65-year-old Hall of Famer heating up in the sizzling sunshine.
Watson made four birdies and three bogeys to provide the drama at sun-drenched Del Paso Country Club, where the temperature soared above 100 degrees again. Watson is trying to become the oldest winner of the event, the oldest to win a senior major and the oldest to win on the Champions Tour.
NW ARKANSAS: At Rogers, Ark., Mi Jung Hur birdied her final five holes to reach 8 under and top the leaderboard in the LPGA Tour's rain-hampered NW Arkansas Championship.
Hur completed 14 holes before play was suspended because of darkness.
Azahara Munoz birdied six of eight holes in a 6-under 65 for a share of the clubhouse lead. The Spaniard was tied with Brittany Lincicome and Anna Nordqvist at Pinnacle Country Club.
AIR CAPITAL: At Wichita, Kan., Jason Allred narrowly missed the cut at the Air Capital Classic on the Web.com Tour at Crestview Country Club.
After shooting even-par 70 in the opening round, Allred recorded a 71 for a 141 total. The cut was a 139.
He bogeyed holes 9 and 15 while picking up a birdie on the 14th.