Although Bubba Watson will always have a soft spot in his heart for Augusta National, he enjoys playing TPC at River Highlands nearly as much.
Watson shot a 3-under-par 67 Friday to take a two-stroke lead over Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington after two rounds of the Travelers Championship.
“I love this place. I always play well here,” Watson said.
The 2010 Travelers champion was at 10-under 130. Reed and Harrington were at 8-under after both shot 66s in the second round. Four players including 2007 champion Hunter Mahan and Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey (Camden) — were tied for fourth at 7-under.
Charley Hoffman, who held the first-round lead after a 61 on Thursday, followed that with a 73 in a round that included three bogeys and a double-bogey.
“The tee shots set up well for me. I like the way they look,” Watson said. “There’s about two tee shots on the whole course that are really tough for me. Other than that, the course sets up well for me.”
With two top-10 finishes and six top-25s this season, Watson is currently 57th in FedEx Cup points. He finished tied for 32nd in last week’s U.S. Open.
“It’s funny. Last year if I don’t hit the hook shot and I don’t win, I don’t have a win all year, even though it was my best year on Tour,” Watson said, referring to his sweeping left-to-right recovery shot from the trees in his playoff win at Augusta. “I’m looking to be more consistent. I had a lot more top 25s over the last few years, a lot less cuts.”
Miyazato shoots 65
At Rogers, Ark., Mika Miyazato birdied six of 10 holes in the middle of her round to shoot a 6-under 65 and earn the first-round lead at LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship.
Els keeps BMW lead
At Munich, Ernie Els shot a 3-under 69 in the second round of the BMW International Open to maintain his one-stroke lead on the PGA Europe stop.
Hadley leads Web.com stop
At Raleigh, Chasson Hadley fired a 2-under 69 to keep the lead at the Rex Hospital Open with a 10-under 132.
Rain delays Encompasse
At Glenview, Ill., Duffy Waldorf and Bernhard Langer finished with 5-under 67s at the Champions Tour Encompasse Championship, but several players had yet to finish the first round due to rain delays.