Bernhard Langer, aided by a 60-foot putt he wasn't trying to sink, fired his second six-under-par 65 Friday for a total of 130 to take a two-stroke lead in the $700,000 Greater Hartford Open golf tournament at Cromwell, Conn.
The West German birdied four of his last five holes to pull ahead after two rounds over the 6,786-yard Tournament Players Club of Connecticut course.
First-day leader Wayne Levi, who started the day seven under par, shot a 68 for a total of 132.
Gene Sauers, Paul Azinger and Dan Forsman were tied at 134. Tom Watson, hoping to end a three-year victory drought, was tied with three others another shot back, after shooting a round of 68 that included six birdies and three bogeys.
"I played a pretty good round. I missed three short putts, but I made a 60-footer that kind of made up for it," Watson said. "It was a little bit of a roller-coaster round.
"I hit good enough to have a little bit better score than I did today. But I'm satisfied."
Langer, who was among the early starters, missed the mid-afternoon rains that hampered players with late tee times.
His bogey-free round was highlighted by a birdie on the 218-yard 5th hole, a par 3, where his 3-iron from the tee stopped 60 feet from the cup.
"You don't try to make those kind (of putts)," he said. "I just try to look at the slope and the speed, and if you can get the speed right, you'll be within three feet or so.
"But it was not a very hard putt, it was very straight-forward, there was no slope, and it went in the left side."
Langer said despite repeating his score of the previous day, "I played slightly better yesterday, but I finished strong today and made some good putts coming in."
Langer, who started on the 10th tee, birdied No. 17 with a four-foot putt and also sank an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 3, an 8-footer on No. 7, a 20-footer on No. 8 and a 12-footer on No. 9.
Tommy Aaron shot a six-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead in a $250,000 Seniors tournament at Grand Rapids, Mich.
The 50-year-old Aaron, in his first year on the tour, held a three-stroke lead over Billy Casper, Orville Moody and Bob Charles.
Gary Player, Dave Hill and Walt Zembriski each shot 69. Nine players, including Roberto DeVicenzo, Gene Littler, Miller Barber, Ken Still, J.C. Goosie, Pete Brown, Joe Jimenez, Jim King and Warren Dailey, tied for eighth at 70.
Aaron started his round on the 6,453-yard Elks Country Club course with an eagle and a birdie. He also had birdies on the 9th, 10th, 14th and 15th holes, holing a 70-foot chip shot on the 15th.
Winds were clocked between 15 to 20 m.p.h., with gusts reaching 30 m.p.h.
"The course changed with the wind," Aaron said. "It was tougher."
"It was extremely difficult to play today," Casper said. "The wind added to the problem. If the weather improves, the scoring will be lower. With the way people are playing, I think the condition of the golf course lends itself to breaking 63 (the course record)."
Australian Peter Senior, finishing with four successive birdies, shot a four-under-par 65 in the third round of the $320,000 Monte Carlo Open, giving him a four-shot lead with a 194 total.
Brian Marchbank of Britain, the first-round leader, shot a 65 to move into second place at 198 on the 5,667-yard Mont Agel course.
Scotland's Sam Torrance, the 1985 winner, was disqualified when he overslept and missed his starting time.
Playing in near darkness, Deb Richard birdied four holes in a row before being called off the course with one hole to play in the second round of a $300,000 LPGA tournament at Pittsford, N.Y.
Four rainstorms produced five hours of delays. Richard was the leader with a 35-hole score of 132, nine under par. She hasn't played the par-3 ninth hole yet.
Forty-one golfers were left on the course when play was halted just before 9 p.m.
Richard leads Lori Garbacz, who finished at six-under 138, and Muffin Spencer-Devlin and Marci Bozarth, who were in the clubhouse at 139.
Garbacz is the actual clubhouse leader after shooting a second-round 67.
Patty Sheehan shot a 69, Ok-Hee Ku a 71 and Muffin Spencer-Devlin a 72 to tie at 141.
Nancy Lopez came in with a 71 for a 143 total.
Pat Bradley struggled to a 76 and, at six-over 150, is in danger of missing the cut in this event for the first time in 11 years.