Brian Harman is trying to join Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson as the only left-handed winners of the Travelers Championship since it moved to TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., in 1984.
Harman collected four of his seven birdies while finishing on the front nine to post a 4-under-par 66 in the second round and take a one-stroke lead over Zach Johnson, Matt Jones of Australia and Russell Henley.
“I played the incoming nine really well,” said Harman, whose two PGA Tour victories came in the 2014 John Deere Classic and the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. “I hit the ball very well, gave myself plenty of chances (for birdies) and made some putts. I chipped the ball pretty well when I got out of position and gave myself some good looks.
“On these greens, sometimes you would rather have 10-foot putts up the hill than four-footers downhill or sidehill. I picked my spots well. I’ll just keep trying to keep doing what I’ve been doing (on the weekend) and see what happens.”
Harman, who opened with a 64, recorded a 36-hole score of 10-under 130.
Johnson, who made a remarkable par with a 234-yard approach shot and an eight-foot putt after driving into the water at No. 17, had a bogey-free 68, while Jones made four birdies on the front nine in a 66 and Henley kick-started a bogey-free 65 with three birdies on the first four holes.
Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis overcame a double-bogey 7 on the 13th hole with seven birdies in a 66 and is two shots back in a tie for fifth with Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita and Paul Casey of England, who both shot 67.
Watson, who won the Travelers in 2010 and 2015, had a tap-in eagle after a 230-yard approach shot on No. 13 in a brilliant 63 and is one more down in a tie for eighth with seventh-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who had a 69, and Lanto Griffin, who collected eight birdies and matched Watson’s 63.
Ninth-ranked Jason Day of Australia is tied for 11th after a 66, second-ranked Justin Thomas totaled 69 and is tied for 17th, defending champion and fifth-ranked Jordan Spieth struggled to a 73 and is tied for 25th after an opening 63, and fourth-ranked Brooks Koepka shot 69 and is tied for 34th a week after winning the U.S. Open for the second straight year.
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