Golf: Watson again finding home at Travelers
The Associated Press The Associated Press
Saturday, June 22, 2013 12:00 am

CROMWELL, Conn. - 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 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 - 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.

Watson, whose last victory came in the 2012 Masters, has played well in this event often. He's finished in the top 15 four times in six previous starts, including that win in 2010 - his first on the PGA Tour - and a second-place finish last year.

"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.


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 NW Arkansas Championship. Miyazato, who finished in a tie for second at the event last year, hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation to finish a shot ahead of So Yeon Ryu and Angela Stanford at 5 under.

Champions Tour

GLENVIEW, Ill. - Craig Stadler birdied five of his first 11 holes to jump into a share of the lead with Duffy Waldorf and Bernhard Langer at 5-under 67 in the rain-delayed Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club. There were 23 players left on the course when play was suspended by darkness. Stadler, who didn't start until after a 3-hour- 28-minute delay for severe weather, was in the next-to-last group to finish.

European Tour

MUNICH - Ernie Els shot a 3-under 69 in the second round of the BMW International Open on Friday to maintain his one-stroke lead. The South African made six birdies, a double bogey and a bogey, leaving him at 12-under 132 halfway through the event. Els, a two-time winner of the British Open and U.S. Open, opened with a 63 Thursday. He was followed by Matthew Baldwin of England (69) and Alexander Levy of France (68).

Chip shots

• Tucson's Krystal Quihuis lost 4 and 3 to Lauren Diaz-Yi of Thousand Oaks, Calif., in Friday's quarterfinals of the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links in Norman, Okla. Diaz-Yi, who also won her semifinal Friday, will face Doris Chen in today's 36-hole championship.