Berger ties for lead at Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. — Daniel Berger says he's healthy again and hoping to regain the form that helped him to his first PGA Tour title two months ago.
Last year's rookie of the year followed his first-round 66 with a 67 on Friday for a share of the lead in the Travelers Championship.
He matched 2012 Travelers champion Marc Leishman, Russell Henley and Tyrone Van Aswegen at 7-under 133. Leishman shot 68, Henley shot 65, and Van Aswegen 66.
Berger strained his shoulder at the U.S. Open after winning in Memphis at the St. Jude Classic, his fourth top-10 finish in seven starts. The injury forced him to withdraw after hitting his opening tee shot at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and he didn't return until last week at the PGA Championship.
"I definitely played better than I thought I would," he said. "This is my seventh round in six weeks and for a professional golfer that's not a lot."
Four players, including 49-year-old University of Hartford graduate Jerry Kelly, were a shot behind. Kelly had a 70 after sharing the first-round lead with a 64.
Blayne Barber had the best round of the day with a 64 of his own to top the seven players two strokes back.
"The wind got up a little bit today, so you had to be playing good golf to shoot a really good number," Leishman said.
U.S. Olympians Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar remained in contention. Kuchar shot a 67 to move to reach 4 under. Reed, who turned 26 on Friday, also shot a 67 and was tied with Watson at 3 under. Watson, the defending champion, had a 70.
Seventy-three players made the cut by shooting even par or better.
"If you're close to the lead, you're close to missing the cut," said Paul Casey, who lost last year in a playoff and was among those tied for ninth place at 5 under.
Henley, who is playing this tournament for the first time, joined the leaders by sinking a 20-foot birdie on his final hole, the par-4 ninth.
"It was just a little bit tricky," he said. "I think with no wind on this course we would have seen double digits (under par) by now."
Van Aswegen put up an early 66 and led most of the day as the wind picked up and the greens dried out.
The 34-year-old, who is looking for his first PGA Tour win, followed up on his 67 Thursday with a second straight bogey-free round. His four birdies included a 45-foot putt on the par-4 10th.
Kelly had five birdies and five bogeys. He won the last of his titles in 2009.
"I'm tired," he said. "I'm going to watch a movie and see if I can rest a little bit and see if the old bones will work for two more days."
CHAMPIONS TOUR: At Blaine, Minn., Monday qualifier Glen Day shot a 7-under 65 in perfect conditions to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' 3M Championship.
On Monday, he topped the five qualifiers with a 7-under 64 at nearby Victory Links. On Friday playing in the first group off the first tee at TPC Twin Cities, the 50-year-old Day had four straight late birdies in his bogey-free round.
Jeff Maggert and Rod Spittle shot 66, and two-time champion Bernhard Langer was at 67 along with Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Woody Austin, Kevin Sutherland, Carlos Franco, Scott Dunlap, Bart Bryant and Monday qualifier Jean-Francois Remesy.
WEB.COM: At Overland Park, Kan., Ashland native Jason Allred missed the cut after shooting a 1-over-par 72 during the second round of the Web.com Digital Ally Open at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate.
Three of his four bogeys came on the front night and his three birdies were all recorded on the back nine.
Allred recorded a 66 on Thursday.
U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR: At Springfield, Pa., South Korea's Eun Jeong Seong and Italy's Virginia Elena Carta advanced to the all-international U.S. Women's Amateur semifinals, keeping alive their bids for rare season sweeps.
The 16-year-old Seong is trying to become the first player to win the event and U.S. Girls' Junior in the same season. The 19-year-old Carta — the oldest of the final four — is attempting to become the second player to win the tournament and NCAA individual title in the same year.
The tournament will have the first all-international championship match since 1910, with 15-year-old Yuka Saso of the Philippines and 18-year-old Mathilda Cappeliez of France also advancing.