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Friday's golf: Xander Schauffele shoots 63 to take 5-shot lead at Travelers

Pat Eaton
Associated Press

Cromwell, Conn. — Xander Schauffele shot his second straight 7-under 63 on Friday to take a five-stroke lead in the Travelers Championship.

The Olympic champion shot a 31 on the front nine at TPC River Highlands with four birdies, then had a 32 on the back, making birdies on 11, 14 and 17.

He has hit 33 of 36 greens in regulation and is the only player in the tournament without a bogey. His closest call came close at the par-3 16th, where he hit his tee shot found the rough behind a greenside bunker.

Kevin Kisner (64), Nick Hardy (64), defending champion Harris English (65), Cam Davis (66) and Patrick Cantlay (67) were tied for second at 9 under. First-round leaders Rory McIlroy and J.T. Poston followed opening 62s with 70s to drop six strokes back.

Cantlay, who shot a 60 at TPC River Highlands as an amateur in 2011, played in the same morning group as English.

English, who won on the eighth hole of a playoff last year, is playing in his third tournament since returning in May from Valentine’s Day surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.

Hardy, starting on the back nine had four consecutive birdies on 16, 17, 18 and 1. He also is coming back from injury after damaging the tendon is his left wrist in April.

The cut was at 2 under, with 2017 winner Jordan Spieth ( 1 over) dropping out with Sam Burns (even par), Zach Johnson (4 over) and Jason Day (6 over). 

LPGA Tour

Bethesda, Md. — After another sparkling start, In Gee Chun finally hit a wayward tee shot — into the thick rough on the eighth hole at Congressional Country Club.

It was the closest she's come to a shaky stretch through the first two days of the Women's PGA Championship.

Chun recovered from a couple bogeys on the front nine and shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to increase her lead to six strokes at the tournament's halfway point. Chun led by five after the first round, equaling the biggest 18-hole advantage in the history of women's major championships.

Bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 in the second round prevented her from pulling even further ahead, but she was still impressive in following up Thursday's stellar performance.

In Gee Chun, of South Korea, tees off on the 18th hole during the second round in the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Congressional Country Club, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Bethesda, Md.

Lydia Ko (67) and Jennifer Kupcho (68) were second. Kupcho took the first major of the season in early April at the Chevron Championship and won a playoff Sunday in Michigan for her second LPGA Tour title.

Caroline Inglis (68) was another stroke back at 4 under, along with Brooke Henderson (69), Hannah Green (69), Sei Young Kim (69) and Jennifer Chang (70).

Hye-Jin Choi and Pornanong Phatlum both shot 72 after first-round 69s. They now trail by eight.

Lexi Thompson matched Ko with a 67, highlighted by an eagle when she holed out a wedge from 102 yards on the par-4 17th.

U.S. Women's Open champ Minjee Lee (68) was with Thompson at 3 under. Defending Women's PGA champ Nelly Korda (74) was at 1 over.

PGA Champions Tour

Bethlehem, Pa. — Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker are going at it again on a big stage, and this time they have more say over the outcome at the U.S. Senior Open.

The two Ryder Cup captains from Whistling Straits last September will be in the final group going into the weekend at Saucon Valley after Harrington birdied three of his last six holes for a 6-under 65 to take a one-shot lead.

Stricker, whose U.S. team of stars throttled Europe in the Ryder Cup, did some nifty work of his own to overcome a sloppy start. He birdied his last three holes for a 69.

Harrington was at 6-under 136 going into a weekend that will not include Bernhard Langer for the first time since the German great was still in his 40s.

Steve Strickler tees off onNo. 16 during the first round of the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament Thursday, June 23, 2022, at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.

The 64-year-old Langer needed a birdie on his final hole to have any chance of making the cut. He made bogey for a 75 and missed by two shots. It was the first time in 65 senior majors that Langer failed to qualify for the weekend.

Jay Haas, the 68-year-old who on Thursday became the fifth player in U.S. Senior Open history to shoot his age with a 67, had to settle for Tom Watson's age Friday. That was a 72, and it was good enough to keep him in the mix at Saucon Valley.

Rob Labritz, the longtime club professional who earned a PGA Tour Champions card this season, had another 69 and was two shots behind Harrington.

The group at 3-under 139 featured Haas, Rocco Mediate and Steven Alker, the top PGA Tour Champions player this year who recovered from a rough opening round with a 67.

Even as sunshine replaced rain, only 12 players remained under par. Defending champion Jim Furyk stumbled to a 76 and made the cut on the number.