Jason Day leads Vacationers, however Bubba Watson simply 1 again regardless of snapping driver

CROMWELL, Conn. – We at the moment are taking a break to fondly keep in mind Bubba Watson’s neon pink driver, which broke aside in mid-swing on Friday on the second tee of the Vacationers Championship.

And if the three-time Vacationers winner will get that fortunate over the weekend, take into consideration the remainder of the sector within the TPC River Highlands.

Watson bounced again after snapping his driver to make a birdie in second place on his solution to a second straight 66 that left him beneath at 8, one stroke behind 36-hole leaders Jason Day.

“It was an ideal tee shot within the center. I chipped him there and turned the putt right into a birdie,” stated Watson dryly. “Ho-hum.”

Day shot 62 for the day’s low rating and an opportunity at his first prime 3 lead to greater than three years. The previous world primary missed three straight cuts earlier than ending forty fourth within the PGA Championship, then retiring from Memorial with a again damage and unable to qualify for the US Open.

Day gave the impression to be fidgeting together with his again on the courtroom on Friday however nonetheless had eight birdies in a bogey-free spherical.

“Generally when you have got an damage or stiffness, even once you’re sick, typically you possibly can come out and play good golf,” he stated. “I used to be fortunate to not actually stand in my manner as we speak.”

Spherical one co-leader Kramer Hickok was 10 beneath earlier than flying the par-3 inexperienced on the sixteenth gap after which making three 18-foot puttes for a double bogey; he completed on a 69 to tie Watson for second.

Justin Rose and Kevin Kisner every shot 63 and had been amongst seven gamers who had been in fourth place with minus 7. Satoshi Kodaira, who misplaced 7 after the primary spherical, shot a 2-over 72 within the second.

A complete of 79 gamers made the reduce at minus 2 on the 6,841 yard, par 70 course outdoors Hartford. Solely beneath the quantity: defending champion Dustin Johnson and the two-time winner Phil Mickelson.

Watson, who gained the 2010, ’15 and ’18 match, began in tenth place on Friday morning and was 1 beneath for the day when he arrived on the par 4 second gap, 350 yards.

Then his driver fell aside – however he did not.

After touching the ball, Watson’s membership head fell off the shaft and landed simply outdoors the gallery, leaving him with a damaged shaft in his arms.

“Thankfully … it did not attain the gang, so nobody acquired damage,” he stated. “No person in my group knew the place the ball was. When you hit, give attention to the place the driving force’s head goes.”

Regardless of a reasonably pronounced fade, the ball landed within the fairway about 50 yards from the pin. Watson hit 11 toes and punched the putt.

Watson stated it might have been the journey that, from scorching to chilly or overuse, precipitated the membership to interrupt proper above the hosel the place the shaft connects to the top. His caddy, Ted Scott, tried to pry the remainder of the shaft out so the top might be reused; Watson had a backup driver in his trunk for such an emergency.

Rule 4.1 permits Watson to interchange the membership. After hitting a 3-wood on the 437-yard, par-4 third, he had his help in time for the 479-yard, par-4, fourth.

“It is a type of issues that has occurred earlier than and I all the time have a backup. They introduced me the backup two holes later and I performed with it for the remainder of the day,” he stated. “I knew there have been just a few drivers left so it actually wasn’t an enormous deal.”

Watson added birdies on the fifth and sixth holes earlier than taking a 50-foot birdie putt on # 7 to take the lead at 9 beneath. He returned that shot with a missed 3-footer on the final gap.

“I attempted to get just a few further once I might,” he stated. “Simply a type of issues that went the fallacious manner.”

Bryson DeChambeau shot 66 on Friday and was 5 beneath, a shot higher than social media archenemy Brooks Koepka, who had a 67 within the second spherical. Koepka’s brother Chase, a daily minor league tour participant who certified for the match final yr however retired resulting from COVID-19 protocols, shot 73 and missed the reduce at 3 over.

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