The Upshot: Langley on track for first TOUR win
June 20, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Scott Langley’s birdies are a result of hitting 86.11% of greens in regulation over the first two rounds of play. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
CROMWELL, Conn. -- The Travelers Championship has a history of producing first-time winners and halfway through this year’s tournament it appears that trend might continue.
Scott Langley shot 65 Friday at TPC River Highlands, where he is 11 under and has a one-shot lead over Michael Putnam, K.J. Choi and Harris English.
It’s not the first time Langley has been in contention, however.
Earlier this month at Muirfield Village, the second-year player was in the final group on Sunday but shot 79 to tumble to a tie for 28th.
“When I get in those situations I need to keep my head down and just play golf,” Langley said. “There was a lot going on Sunday, and I probably didn't handle it as well as I could have, but I learned from it, and going into this weekend, I'm not going to talk about what it would mean to win, think about that. Not going to talk about results. Just going to keep my head down and keep playing golf.”
Through the first 36 holes of the Travelers he’s done a nice job of that.
Langley missed just one fairway and hit 15 greens in regulation on his way to eight birdies. He ranks second in greens and third in fairways for the week.
His only hiccups Friday came on the par-4 second (his 11th) when he hit his bunker shot through the green and failed to get up-and-down for bogey, and on the par-4 seventh, where he three-putted from 45 feet for bogey.
Langley bounced back with birdies both times, however, sticking his approach shot inside 5 feet on the third hole and his tee shot on the par-3 eighth inside 15 feet.
“It's been nice giving myself kind of easy opportunities to make birdie,” he said. “Hopefully continue to make it easy on myself the next couple of days.”
Scott Langley makes moves at Travelers
SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR DUSTIN? It has been nearly two months since Dustin Johnson had a break.
After a second-straight 66, he doesn’t mind a couple more days of work.
Johnson is 8 under and just three strokes off the lead heading into the weekend at the Travelers Championship, where he’s looking for his second win of the season and first since November.
"I'm getting pretty tired, but I'm OK," said Johnson, who is making his first appearance at TPC River Highlands since 2009. "Obviously playing well helps. If I was struggling this week, I think it wouldn't be fun."
Through the first two rounds, Johnson has missed just six greens in regulation -- he hit 16 on Friday -- and made a dozen birdies.
Though his last victory came seven months ago, Johnson arrived here in good form. Last week, he tied for fourth at the U.S. Open.
"I'm hitting the ball well, I'm getting good looks at the hole, making some putts," Johnson said.
His only bad one came on the drivable par-4 15th, where he hit his tee shot in the water. Unlike on Thursday, he wasn't able to get up-and-down to save par.
Johnson's only other bogeys Friday came on Nos. 4 and 12 as he three-putted both from outside 30 feet.
"Last week, you know, was just a grind the whole time, it felt like," Johnson said. "Wasn't hitting it where I was looking. It's definitely a lot better this week."
Dustin Johnson interview after Round 2 of Travelers
HEADED HOME EARLY: It has been a tough two weeks for Hunter Mahan.
Last week at the U.S. Open, Mahan suffered a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball and ended up missing the cut by a stroke.
Friday, he bogeyed the par-4 18th -- where he failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker -- to miss the cut by one.
Mahan won here in 2007 and is the all-time earnings leader in the event. He also shot a career-low 61 at TPC River Highlands in the final round in 2011.
He wasn’t the only notable name to miss the cut, however.
Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed, Erik Compton and David Duval all fell on the wrong side of the number.
IMPORTANT WEEKEND AHEAD: Kevin Stadler made the cut on the number.
Why could that be important? Aside from a paycheck, it gives Stadler an opportunity to play his way into The Open Championship.
He came into the week 21st in the FedExCup standings. The top five players among the top 20 not otherwise eligible for The Open after next week’s Greenbrier Classic will be exempt into the field at Hoylake.
CALL OF THE DAY: Fred Albers of PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM andPGATOUR.COM calls Brendan Steele's birdie on No. 6 at the 2014 Travelers Championship.
Audio coverage of the third round will stream from noon to 6 p.m. ET Saturday on PGATOUR.COM.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click on the picture below to see all the images during Friday's second round.