(Reuters) - Bubba Watson was not fazed by strong winds and trickier pin positions as he rolled right along with an error-free day to earn a two-shot lead after the second round of the Travelers Championship on Friday.
The two-time Masters champion followed his nine-birdie opening round with a flawless three-under 67 at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
At 11-under for the tournament, Watson holds a two-shot lead over Swede Carl Pettersson (66) and Americans Brian Harman (65) and Brian Stuard (67).
“Yesterday the wind was favorable for good scoring. Today tougher pins and more wind so it makes it tougher to get the ball close,” said Watson, who at number five is the highest-ranked player in the field.
”Some of the holes were playing a little bit longer because of the wind. The wind was in a different direction so it just made the golf course a little bit tougher.
“But obviously when you are playing good you’re thinking you can still score. All these players are pretty good and we can still score even in tougher conditions.”
The American is clearly comfortable with the layout, having finished in the top five in three of his last five appearances at the Travelers. Those include his first PGA Tour title in 2010 when he triumphed on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Coming off a disappointing missed cut at last week’s U.S. Open, Watson found 15 of 18 greens in regulation and needed a mere 30 putts on Friday to put him in position for his eighth PGA Tour victory come Sunday.
The American, who started on the back nine, birdied his fifth hole, the par-four 14th, before picking up another stroke at each of the par-four third and par-four seventh holes.
Defending champion Kevin Streelman (70) missed the cut by one stroke after offsetting three birdies with three bogeys, including one at the par-three 16th that dropped him outside the cut line.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Cameron French