Scott Langley, in his second year on the PGA Tour, shot a five-under-par 65 to take the halfway lead at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut on Friday.
The left-hander overcame a double bogey to post an 11-under 129 total, one stroke ahead of fellow Americans Harris English and Michael Putnam and South Korean K.J. Choi on a crowded leaderboard after the second round.
Putnam’s 63 was the best round of the day at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, which has hosted the PGA Tour event formerly known as the Greater Hartford Open since 1984.
Langley is determined to avoid a repeat of his final round meltdown less than three weeks ago at the Memorial tournament, where he shot a closing 79 after starting the day in second place.
“There was a lot going on (at the Memorial) and I probably didn’t handle it as well as I could have but I learned a lot from it,” the 25-year-old told PGATour.com.
“Going into this weekend, I’m not going to talk about what it would mean to win. I need to keep my head down and just play golf.”
Langley reeled off eight birdies, a bogey and a double bogey in ideal morning conditions.
“I really only made one mistake,” he said, referring to his double bogey at the par-four second, his 11th hole, where he took four strokes from just off the green.
“My iron play has been really solid, giving myself a lot of short putts for birdie. I had really good tempo, which led to consistency with my ball-striking.
“The name of the game out here is putting (and) I putted quite well.”
Nine strokes separated the 77 players who made the cut. In an event lacking much star power, a couple of proven winners were within striking distance, notably Dustin Johnson, three strokes behind, while Matt Kuchar trailed by four.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry)