Jason Day produced a brilliant bogey-free round of 62 on Friday to secure the halftime lead at the Travelers Championship.
Starting the day six off the pace, the 33-year old Aussie birdied two of his first four holes (Nos. 11 and 13) and added a third before the turn. Day then got real hot on his homeward nine, reeling off five birdies in a seven-hole stretch (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7) to reach 9-under par.
“Body is okay. Just stiff. It’s sore to get onto the other side of the golf swing, so any time going left was a little bit sore,” said Day when asked about his oft-injured body.
“It is what it is. I haven’t had time to really rest it since I kind of put it out.
“I think having a couple weeks off was great, but you just need a little bit more time is what it is.”
He added, “I mean, sometimes when you do have sort of an injury or stiffness, even if you’re sick, sometimes you can come out and play some good golf.
“I was fortunate enough to not really get in my own way today. Hit a lot of good quality drives and my tee to green was pretty solid, I thought. Then holed a lot of crucial putts out there.
“So that’s what kept everything rolling, which was nice.”
One back was three-time Travelers winner Bubba Watson, who shot a second straight 66 to sit T2 on 8 under, alongside overnight co-leader Kramer Hickok (69).
“When you come off the U.S. Open everything seems easier,” said Watson, when asked why he plays so well at TPC River Highlands.
“Even though there is thick rough you feel like you can play out of it. You can still move the ball forward.
“Obviously with the new design there is couple bunkers that are tricky. As long as you stay out of the bunkers you can still move the ball forward and you feel like you have a chance to hit the green.
“That’s really what I’ve felt over the years, is that I can play no matter where the ball ends up.”
Justin Rose was among group of seven deadlocked at 7-under par. The 40-year old Englishman carded a 63 which included eight birdies against one bogey.
“I would say putter,” said Rose, when asked to cite the key to his round. “I putted great today. Made a lot of mid- to long-range putts, which obviously got my scorecard lit up.
“But probably started before that, just the mindset of not pushing too hard, not going to flags when I didn’t have the right number or kind of hitting driver off holes that I wasn’t front loading the gamble. Just being a bit more patient with my game.
“I hit a few more 3-woods off the tee, got the ball in play, and was able to go from there. Yeah, I’ve not been playing my best really and I think that if you get overly aggressive with your mindset you can kind of then end up making silly mistakes.
“When you’re playing great, you can afford to make a silly mistake because you know you’re going to make some birdies to kind of counteract that. But when you’re not really fully flying, those little mistakes hurt you a bit more.”
Patrick Cantlay (66), Scottie Scheffler (65) and Ian Poulter (66) headlined a group of seven more players tied for 11th on 6 under.
2021 Travelers Championship
Top-10 Leaders: Round 2
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 2)
1. Jason Day -9 (-8)
2. Bubba Watson -8 (-4)
2. Kramer Hickok -8 (-1)
4. Justin Rose -7 (-7)
4. Kevin Kisner -7 (-7)
4. KH Lee -7 (-6)
4. Troy Merritt -7 (-5)
4. Russell Henley -7 (-4)
4. Seamus Power -7 (-3)
4. Brice Garnett -7 (-2)
Material from the PGA Tour Media was used to compile this report.