Watson remains in front at Travelers Championship

RSS

Bubba Golf is rolling right along at the Travelers Championship.

After an opening-round 62, Bubba Watson shot a 3-under 67 to remain in front at TPC River Highlands. At 11 under, he held a three-shot lead over Scott Brown upon completing his round. 

Watson continues to demonstrate an affinity for this tournament's cozy confines, bombing his way around the par-70 layout. He earned his first PGA Tour victory here in 2010, and now has recorded 19 rounds of 67 or better at this event since 2008, the most of any player. His stroke average over his last 30 rounds in Cromwell, Conn., is an eye-popping 67.03.

After birdieing half the holes in his opening round, Watson pointed out that the course is annually a welcome change from the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, the event that directly precedes it on the calendar.

"Coming off that golf course, it doesn't matter what you shoot. It's hard to make birdies around there," said Watson, who missed the cut last week after rounds of 70-77 at Chambers Bay. "Around here you can make birdies. You have perfect greens. The greens are running the best I've ever seen them, and you're going to have shorter irons. No matter how far you hit it off the tee, it's shorter irons than a U.S. Open, so you have a chance to score."

Watson was bogey-free during the second round, and he has dropped just one shot through 36 holes. He found 15 of 18 greens in regulation but needed just 30 putts, keying his round with 7-foot par saves on Nos. 10 and 18 in addition to birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 14.

Watson opened this season with five straight top-15 finishes, highlighted by his victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, but he hasn't cracked the top 15 since. His best stroke-play result over the last three months came at the Masters, where he finished T-38.