Jordan Spieth played well enough in the second round of the Travelers Championship to stay in the lead. Rory McIlroy played just well enough to stay in the tournament.
Spieth shot a one-under 69 on Friday morning, then watched as a windy afternoon kept anyone from overtaking him.
The conditions also kept fourth-ranked Jason Day from making the cut for a second consecutive week. He bogeyed the 18th for a 70 to finish at two over. No. 3-ranked McIlroy shot a 73, also closing with a bogey, but managed to just sneak into the weekend at even par.
Spieth, who began the day one shot ahead after a first-round 63, started on the back nine. The 23-year-old Texan had to recover from a double bogey on the par-five 13th hole after hitting his tee shot left and out-of-bounds. He also had four birdies and a bogey to reach eight under.
“We’ve been kind of far behind in a lot of the events in making comeback runs,” said Spieth, the two-time major champion who tied for 35th last week in the U.S. Open. “But being able to be toward the front of the pack on a Saturday afternoon is a beautiful position to be in and one that we’ll certainly embrace. I’m going to try to have a lot of fun this weekend.”
Patrick Reed (66) and Troy Merritt (68) were tied for second. Both fought off wind gusts that exceeded 20 mph to hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka isn’t in Connecticut this week, but former Florida State teammate Chase Seiffert is in contention. The 25-year-old had to qualify Monday to get into the tournament. He made two eagles Friday and finished with a 66 to reach six under.
Wesley Bryan (67), Daniel Summerhays (68) and Boo Weekley (68) also were at five under.
Graham DeLaet led briefly during the afternoon, but had a double bogey on 18 for a 70 to drop into the group at five under.
Eighty-five players made the cut and 68 finished within seven shots of the lead.
Anirban Lahiri of India, playing his first tournament since tying for second at the Memorial, shot a bogey-free 63 to move to four under. He made a 32-foot eagle putt on No. 13.
Park takes lead in Arkansas
Sung Hyun Park nearly matched the course record with an eight-under 63 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship.
The South Korean, ranked eighth in the world in her first full season on the LPGA Tour, finished with nine birdies and needed only 24 putts to take a two-shot lead over Mel Reid, Ally McDonald and So Yeon Ryu.
Reid had a hole-in-one on the par-three 11th and reached as low as eight under before falling back with a pair of back-nine bogeys.
Local favorite Stacy Lewis was one of five players three shots off the lead at 68. Defending champion and second-ranked Lydia Ko opened with a 70.
Broadhurst leads Champions event
Paul Broadhurst shot a nine-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ American Family Insurance Open in Madison, Wis.
The Englishman had an eagle and seven birdies — three on his final four holes — at University Ridge. He won the Senior British Open and PURE Insurance Championship last year.
Brian Henninger had a 65, and tournament host Steve Stricker joined Kenny Perry and Billy Andrade at 66. Stricker is making his first start in his hometown event after turning 50 in February. He tied for 16th last week in the U.S. at Erin Hills.
Fred Couples was another stroke back along with Kevin Sutherland, Corey Pavin, Stephen Ames, Brandt Jobe, Jeff Maggert and Phillip Price.
Madison player Jerry Kelly opened with a 68, defending champion Kirk Triplett had a 69, and Nick Faldo shot 71. Faldo is making his first PGA Tour Champions start since 2015.
Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of wet conditions.