AVONDALE, La. – Bubba Watson shot a 4-under 68 in shifting wind conditions Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Josh Teater after the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Watson, the Torrey Pines winner in late January, had a 10-under 134 total at TPC Louisiana.
“For me, it’s daunting,” he said. “There were a lot of tough tee shots for me. A lot of times the water’s on the left for me being left-handed. “It’s hard to overcome, but somehow I’m overcoming it right now.”
The long-hitting Watson eagled the par-5 11th – his second hole of the round – for the second time, holing a 20-footer to get to 8 under. He added a 4-foot birdie putt on 13 and a 13-footer on 14, but bogeyed the 18th when he hit his third shot over the green from a bunker. He also birdied the seventh with a 3-footer.
“You’re not sure what the wind’s doing on some holes,” said Watson, who has failed to win the three previous times he has had the 36-hole lead. “So, you’re always watching and trying to see what’s going on to figure out how to play the holes.”
Teater shot a 66, dropping two strokes with a double bogey on the par-5 18th.
“It was kind of on an upslope,” Teater said about his third shot. “And I don’t know if my club just got stuck, but I was trying to hit it left of the flag and middle of the green, and it shot out right on me.”
John Rollins was 8 under after a 69. Dean Wilson matched the course record with a 64 to join John Senden (67), Jason Dufner (69), Matt Jones (71) and Webb Simpson (69) at 7 under. Simpson counted New Orleans Hornets star guard Chris Paul among his gallery.
“I played good for two days,” Rollins said. “I’ve hit the ball well and given myself a lot of opportunities. So, I’ve got to be very pleased with where I am and we’ll see how the week works out.”
Steve Stricker (68), David Mathis (68) and Tommy Gainey (71) were 6 under.
Luke Donald topped a group at 5 under after a 71. He lost a playoff last week at Hilton Head, missing a chance to jump from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world.
Vijay Singh made the cut by a stroke, following a 74 with a 68 to get to 2 under.
David Duval, Rory Sabbatini, Hilton Head winner Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose and John Daly missed the cut. Duval opened with a 67, but doubled-bogeyed the second hole on way to a front-nine 42 and 79.