Sucher Surprise 2-Shot Leader in Travelers

Zack Sucher is playing on the PGA Tour for the first time in two years and incredibly finds himself on top of the leaderboard midway through the Travelers Championship.

The 32-year Sucher shot 5-under-par 65, one day after sharing the lead at 64, to take a two-stroke lead over Keegan Bradley and Chez Reavie after the second round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.

“This was my very last PGA Tour event (two years ago),” said Sucher, who was advised by fellow pro John Peterson to apply for a medical extension because of ankle and knee injuries that required surgery and put him out of action for 13 months. “I missed the cut and went and played in the offsite outing that week. I’m like, ‘Man, I got all kinds of problems.’ (Peterson) said, ‘Well, you’re an idiot for playing.’

“ … This will be a little bit of a different feeling being the final group of a PGA event (on Saturday). Done it plenty on the—I guess it’s the Korn Ferry Tour now. I’ve got to stop calling it the This week can change everything.”

Sucher, whose only pro victory came in the 2014 Midwest Classic on what was then the Tour, carded a 36-hole score of 11-under 129.

Bradley, the 2012 PGA champion, holed his second shot from 81 yards for an eagle on the 15th hole en route to a bogey-free 66, which Reavie matched by making three birdies as he finished on the front nine.

Ryan Moore collected four birdies while finishing off a bogey-free 66 on the front and is three shots back in a tie for fourth with Bronson Burgoon, one of six first-round co-leaders, who followed that with a 66.

Jason Day of Australia posted a bogey-free 63 that was the low score of the round and is one more down in a tie for sixth that includes Paul Casey (68) of England, Andrew Putnam (67) of Pepperdine, rookie Collin Moirkawa (67) of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, Robert Streb (68), Adam Long (67) and Brady Schnell (68).

Defending champion Bubba Watson, who is trying to join Billy Casper as the only four-time winners of the tournament, shot 66 and is tied for 25th, seventh-ranked Justin Thomas is tied for 36th after a 68, and top-ranked Brooks Koepka totaled 66 and is tied for 47th.

Tenth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis shot 70 and is in a tie for 57th that includes eighth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, who finished at 72, and sixth-ranked Francesco Molinari of Italy, who wound up at 69.

Jordan Spieth, the 2017 Travelers champion, carded a 69, but missed the cut by four strokes, while two-time Travelers winner Phil Mickelson struggled to a 76 and missed the weekend by five shots.

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