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Watson leads by 2 strokes midway through Travelers

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POSTED June 22, 2013 1:46 a.m.

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Bubba Watson shot a 67 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead over Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington after two rounds of the Travelers Championship.

Watson, the 2010 Travelers champion, was at 10-under 130 after two days of play at the TPC-River Highlands. 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.

One week after winning the U.S. Open at Merion, Justin Rose was tied for 12th at 5-under.

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 a second-place finish last year.

EUROPEAN TOUR

MUNICH (AP) — 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 European Tour event. Els, a two-time winner of the British Open and U.S. Open, opened with a 63 Thursday.

He is followed by Matthew Baldwin of England (69) and Alexander Levy of France (68). Defending champion Danny Willett of England shot a 65 for the day’s best round and is tied for fourth place with Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.

CHAMPIONS TOUR

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) — 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-par 67 in the rain-delayed Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club.

There were 23 players left on the course when play on the 54-hole tournament 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.

The players with holes remaining will do so Saturday morning before the second round begins.

The fourth of Stadler’s five birdies was his best. His 7-iron from a divot in the middle of the fairway stopped a foot from the cup.

Seven players, including Chicago-area native Gary Hallberg and area resident Jeff Sluman, are a stroke back at 4-under 68, while Peter Senior and Mark Calcavecchia are at 4-under on their back nine. Major championship winners Corey Pavin, Bob Tway and Hal Sutton lead a pack of eight players at 3-under 69.

LPGA TOUR

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — 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.

Miyazato finished in a tie for second at the event last year, missing a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to finish a stroke back of winner Ai Miyazato.

The Japanese golfer hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation on Friday to finish a shot ahead of So Yeon Ryu and Angela Stanford at 5 under. Ten golfers are two shots back at 4 under, including local favorite Stacy Lewis, who played collegiately at the nearby University of Arkansas.

World No. 1 Inbee Park is four shots off the lead after shooting a 2-under 69.

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