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Watney leads after 2 rounds at Greensboro

Watney leads after 2 rounds at Greensboro

Nick Watney shrugged off the showers, played it safe with a 1-under 71 and stayed in position for his first U.S. PGA Tour win halfway through the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro on Friday.
"With the wind and the rain, it definitely made it a little tougher to be aggressive and get the ball close," said Watney, who moved to 9-under 135. "Especially on a day like today where pars are pretty good, it's a good thing to not take a step backwards."
Ryan Palmer (65) and John Senden (70) were a stroke back. Palmer had the day's best round, which included an eagle and six birdies despite unfavorable conditions on the 7,333-yard (6,705-meter) Forest Oaks Country Club course.
Off-and-on showers, temperatures in the mid-50s (mid-teens C) and gusting, sometimes swirling wind made the scores generally higher than they were in the hot, clear first round.
"It's one of those days you've got to stay focused and not let the weather get you, try to make pars and get a couple birdies," Palmer said. "Fortunately, I was able to sneak in six birdies today along with the eagle."
Tim Petrovic (69), Eric Axley (69), Chris Couch (68), Charley Hoffman (71), Greg Owen (69) and Ryan Moore (70) were two strokes back.
Watney, who shared a two-stroke lead with John Rollins and Brent Geiberger after the first round, stayed in contention for his first victory on the tour. His personal best came during his most recent event, a tie for fifth in the Reno-Tahoe Open.
This time, Watney birdied his first two holes, had 10 consecutive pars and made his only bogey on the par-5 13th. He missed the fairway with his tee shot, got onto the green in four shots, and left a par putt 7 inches short.
"I was swinging well and had a few more opportunities early, but then (I) didn't hit it as well as I did yesterday, so I made a lot of good par saves," Watney said. "It's tough to get the ball close because the wind was, you know, kind of gusting and pretty tricky."
Palmer made the biggest jump of the second round. Starting seven strokes behind the leaders, Palmer had an eagle on the par-4 fifth and birdied five of his final eight holes.
"The hole was big and the ball was going in the right spot," Palmer said.
Senden started his round on the back nine and appeared poised to join Watney in the lead. He was at 9 under through 14 holes, but bogeyed the par-4 sixth when he missed a 27-foot par putt on the low side. He closed his round with three pars.
"There was some good opportunity on the front nine for me to finish better today, but I feel like my game was solid enough that I'm happy with my score," Senden said.
Both of the other first-round leaders struggled. Rollins fell three strokes behind Watney after a 74, while Geiberger had a 75 to drop four strokes back.
Among the notables who missed the cut at 2-under 142 were one-time Greensboro resident Carl Pettersson and 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, who each were at 1-under 143. Weir ended his streak of 17 straight cuts made, missing for the first time since the FBR Open in February.


Updated : 2021-08-01 14:36 GMT+08:00