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Rose in contention as Harrington shines in Cromwell

ESPN staff
June 21, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Justin Rose experienced a frustrating round on the greens © Getty Images
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Traverlers Championship leaderboard

US Open champion Justin Rose could not capitalise on a good start to his second round at the Travelers Championship, finishing with a two-under-par 68 to remain five shots off leader Bubba Watson.

Rose, who became the first Englishman to win the US Open when lifting his maiden major at Merion on Sunday, struggled to build his challenge to the leading pack despite moving two-under within the first five holes.

Starting on the tenth, the Englishman kicked off in solid fashion by scoring par on the first three holes. Then, after chipping close from off the green, Rose sank a five-footer to card his first birdie at the par-five 13th.

A marvellous 18-foot putt followed for a successive birdie at the 14th as the 32-year-old looked to build a run. However, Rose found the water from the tee on the next, dropping him down a shot before restoring the advantage with another birdie on his ninth hole.

Rose birdied the first hole in his opening round at TPC River Highlands, and it was the same occurrence during his second to move three-under. But another immediate bogey pegged him back once more, before seven consecutive pars left him on five-under overall.

"I did hit some poor shots, I didn't really feel comfortable with the golf swing," Rose told PGA TOUR radio. "I kept it together though.

"I had it to three-under through ten and felt good about kicking on and making a few birdies to close to really put a good round together but it wasn't to be. I hit some good putts on the last seven or eight holes but they just didn't fall."

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington worked his way into contention with a strong second round of 66, leaving him at eight-under. Also starting at the tenth, Harrington birdied four of his opening seven holes for a promising start.

Bogey at the 17th dropped him back a shot, but a 32-foot putt at the third capped a great recovery after the Irishman found the fairway bunker with his tee shot. Despite a second bogey on the fourth, Harrington found the green with his tee shot at the fifth before leaving his 50-foot putt within two-feet to finish for birdie.

Watson claimed the early clubhouse lead, finishing with a three-under 67 to add to Thursday's first round low of 63. The American started with a bogey, but clawed his way back to the top of the pile with two birdies each side of the turn, finishing on ten-under at the half way point.

Patrick Reed sits at eight-under after his second score of 66 while New Zealand's Nick O'Hern also carded a four-under round to sit one shot further back with Tag Ridings. Hunter Mahan dropped back to seven-under after a round of 71.

Overnight leader Charley Hoffman could not keep up his charge, finishing with a 73 to drop back to six-under. Hoffman found the water with his second shot at the 13th before overshooting the green with his recovery shot, carding a double bogey to dent his credentials.

Compatriot Keegan Bradley hit a bogey-free- round of 65 to surge within contention at six-under along with Webb Simpson, scoring five birdies in six holes around the turn.

Notable names that will not feature in the weekend action include KJ Choi, Stewart Cink, and Nicolas Colsaerts who all missed the cut.

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