Rose grabs Travelers lead
Cromwell - England's Justin Rose fired a sparkling eight-under par 62 on Friday to seize a four-shot lead over Kevin Sutherland in the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship.
Rose teed off on 10 and reeled off five birdies in a row from the 11th.
He had back-to-back birdies at the second and third, then for good measure added one more birdie at his final hole, the ninth.
Rose, who won the Memorial three weeks ago but failed to qualify for the US Open at Pebble Beach last week, broke the tournament record for the first 36 holes with his 14-under total of 126.
His 62 was one shy of the TPC River Highlands course record.
It was the second day in a row that Rose put together five straight birdies on the back nine.
"Yesterday's finish was amazing, ran five birdies in the last six and then again today, managed to get five in a row again," he said.
"Birdied 10 of the 12 holes, so from just cruising, suddenly I went to the top of the leaderboard just like that and began to get a nice little lead there."
Sutherland carded his second straight 65 for 130.
Fiji's Vijay Singh (66), US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin (66), Bill Lunde (63) and South Korean Charlie Wi (67) shared third on nine-under 131.
After 162 US tour starts with a victory, Rose broke through at the Memorial.
"I think I'm just on a nice streak," he said. "I'm not getting in my way. I'm letting it happen. It's nice to not field the question, 'Can this be your first win?' I must say. That helps.
"Having done that, that's one question that it's just something less that I have to think about.
"Winning a tournament in its own right is difficult. So, when you have the added expectation of it trying to be your first, that can be harder sometimes."
Sutherland was more than satisfied with his consistency over the first two rounds.
"I'm very pleased. I've hit the ball very well," he said. "I've had 10 birdies for the two days and haven't had a bogey yet. I'm playing real consistent, real solid."
Lunde's round was highlighted by eagles at 13 and 15.
"That's something on this golf course," said Lunde, who also teed off on 10. "On the back nine, you've got some opportunities to make some eagles and make a lot of birdies."
Singh opened with back-to-back birdies.
"It started off, and I thought, 'Here we go. It's going to be a good one,' and then I didn't take the opportunities on the front nine," said Singh, who parred the next seven.
Pavin's birdie putt at his last hole - the ninth - stopped one turn short of falling.
"It's all fine by me," Pavin said. "I've been here a long time. I guess the ones who are still alive are still cheering for me."
All eight of Rose's birdie putts were inside 11 feet. His chip shots at 13 and 15 left him tap-ins.
"My feel is really good," he said.
Rose said there was no one big change he could name to account for his current form.
"For a while, I was chasing results because I knew I was playing well, instead of just letting it happen. So, it's a very fine line out here," he said. "It's very subtle, and I haven't really changed much. Suddenly, my name's up there, and you think, 'Well, what's different?' But really, nothing is different. It's just suddenly happening."
Leading second-round scores on Friday in the $6m Travelers Championship (USA unless noted):
126 - Justin Rose (GBR) 64-62
130 - Kevin Sutherland 65-65
131 - Bill Lunde 68-63, Corey Pavin 65-66, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 65-66, Charlie Wi (KOR) 64-67
132 - Greg Chalmers (AUS) 66-66, Matt Jones (AUS) 65-67, Vaughn Taylor 67-65
133 - Ben Curtis 65-68, Joe Durant 66-67, Steve Elkington (AUS) 66-67, Tim Herron 66-67, Chris Riley 68-65, Bubba Watson 65-68, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 70-63
134 - Aron Price (AUS) 65-69
135 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 69-66, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 64-71, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 67-68, Michael Sim (AUS) 68-67
136 - Graham Delaet (CAN) 70-66, Mathew Goggin (AUS) 64-72, Rod Pampling (AUS) 68-68
137 - Stuart Appleby (AUS) 70-67, Retief Goosen (RSA) 68-69, James Nitties (AUS) 69-68
138 - Arjun Atwal (IND) 71-67, Mark Hensby (AUS) 67-71, Jarrod Lyle (AUS) 71-67
Failed to qualify:
139 - Martin Laird (GBR) 69-70
140 - Henrik Bjornstad (NOR) 71-69, Mathias Gronberg (SWE) 67-73, Adam Scott (AUS) 68-72
141 - Brian Davis (GBR) 69-72
142 - Ryuji Imada (JPN) 72-70, Richard S. Johnson (SWE) 71-71, Andrew McLardy (RSA) 73-69, Garth Mulroy (RSA) 71-71, Brenden Pappas (RSA) 72-70
144 - David Lutterus (AUS) 68-76, Greg Owen (GBR) 72-72
145 - Daniel Chopra (SWE) 69-76, Cameron Percy (AUS) 77-68