Watson shoots 62 in Hope on dreary day
Associated Press
Saturday, January 23, 2010

LA QUINTA, Calif. --- Long-hitting Bubba Watson is using the wet weather to his advantage in the Bob Hope Classic.

Watson shot 10-under 62 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead over Alex Prugh after the second round, which began and ended in driving rain.

The storm wiped out play Thursday and threatened Friday, but there were just enough hours in between squalls for an impressive day by Watson, who's trying to show there's more to his game than his jaw-dropping drives.

Watson still hasn't won on the PGA Tour, but he showed off an improved putting stroke and capitalized on wet fairways at SilverRock for 29 on the front nine.

He was at 16-under 128 after taking on the tournament's two toughest courses in his first two rounds.

"My length is definitely going to play a part on that golf course, because it's got wide fairways," Watson said. "I can rip it if I want to. The par 5s are reachable, unless you get a day like today. ... It's different (in the rain). It's going to be hard for everybody, but I putted well today. That was my key. I hit a lot of good shots, but I putted well."

Prugh followed his opening 64 with 66 on the Palmer Course at PGA West.

First-round leader Shane Bertsch (69) was at 13-under with Joe Ogilvie (66), Chad Collins (64) and Martin Flores (65).

After rain wiped out Thursday's play, the golfers hustled to finish the second round of the PGA Tour's only five-round, four-course tournament. After what's expected to be a clear weekend of weather, the final round will be played Monday, when rain is expected to return to the Palm Springs area.

The rain persisted Friday morning, but the first golfers took the course around 11 a.m. in twosomes without their amateur counterparts, who sat out a day in an effort to speed up the round before more rain arrived.

The early starters played through the rain before it largely stopped an hour later, but their iron shots produced large sprays of water from the fairways.

TAYLOR MAKES BIG MOVE

Evans resident Vaughn Taylor shot 67 in the second round at PGA West's Palmer Course and moved up 27 spots on the leaderboard.

Taylor is tied for eighth at 11-under 133, five shots back, with 54 holes to play.

Former Louisville, Ga., resident Brian Gay had 65 on PGA West's Nicklaus Course and is eight back in a tie for 17th at 8-under 136.

Augusta native Charles Howell shot 69 on the Palmer Course and is nine back in a tie for 25th at 7-under 137.

Swainsboro, Ga., resident Blake Adams shot 68 on the Nicklaus course and is tied for 87th at 2-under 142.

-- From staff reports

From the Saturday, January 23, 2010 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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