Travelers Championship 2018: Brian Harman Holds Lead Entering Saturday's Round 3

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2018

CROMWELL, CT - JUNE 22:  Brian Harman of the United States plays his shot from the seventh tee during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 22, 2018 in Cromwell, Connecticut.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Brian Harman shot a four-under par Friday and now owns a one-shot lead at the Travelers Championship. 

Harman opened his stay at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, with a 66 on Thursday and continued his surge Friday to boost his 36-hole total to 10-under. Australian Matt Jones and Americans Russell Henley and Zach Johnson are both sitting at nine-under. 

Here's a look at the top 10 entering moving day: 

  • 1. Brian Harman, -10 
  • T-2. Matt Jones, -9 
  • T-2. Russell Henley, -9
  • T-2. Zach Johnson, -9 
  • T-5. Bryson DeChambeau, -8 
  • T-5. Paul Casey, -8
  • T-5. Beau Hossler, -8 
  • T-8. Bubba Watson, -7
  • T-8. Rory McIlroy, -7
  • T-8. Lanto Griffin, -7 

The most notable name not in that group is Jordan Spieth, who was sitting pretty after he shot an opening-round 63. However, Spieth fell all the way back to a tie for 25th place after carding a three-over par 73 on Friday. 

Spieth's round consisted of three bogies, one eagle and a crippling triple-bogey on the par-five 13th.  

"I actually felt like I had better control of my golf swing than I did yesterday. I really struggled with my swing yesterday and I kind of got some good breaks," Spieth said, according to GolfChannel.com's Will Gray. "It's just golf. It’s kind of like yesterday I got three or four shots extra out of the round, and today I lost three or four based on how I felt."

On the flip side, Bubba Watson made a 69-spot leap on the leaderboard and is now three shots back after carding a seven-under 63 that featured six birdies, an eagle and a single blemish in the form of a bogey on No. 16. 

''I had some mental mistakes yesterday, and then I didn't make some putts," Watson said, per the Associated Press' Pat Eaton-Robb. "Today I started out hotter. I made a good shot on 11, our second hole, made the putt, making a solid par putt on 12, and then that freed me up a little bit. Gave me some confidence going into the next hole where I made the eagle."

Joining Watson at seven under is Rory McIlroy, who kept himself in contention despite needing 32 putts to complete Friday's round. 

"I think if I can put the ball in the fairway and hit my irons as good as I have been over the first couple of days, I'll give myself a lot of chances for birdies," McIlroy said, per Gray. "It's just about converting them and taking the opportunities when they present themselves."

If McIlroy can channel a bit more efficiency around the greens, he could be in line to bounce back from his missed cut at the U.S. Open in a major way. 

All eyes will be on the Irishman when he tees off at 1:15 p.m. ET Saturday in hopes of making another charge up the leaderboard. 

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