Harrington making a move at the Travelers

Dubliner two shots behind Bubba Watson going into Saturday’s third round in Connecticut

Padraig Harrington lines up his putt on the 15th green during the second round of the 20 Travelers Championship. Photograph: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Padraig Harrington lines up his putt on the 15th green during the second round of the 20 Travelers Championship. Photograph: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Sat, Jun 22, 2013, 15:48

Big-hitting American Bubba Watson took control of the Travelers Championship, fashioning a two-shot lead after yesterday’s second round at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. Watson, the 2010 winner, shot 67 to move to 10 under, two shots clear of triple major champion Padraig Harrington (66) and PGA Tour rookie Patrick Reed (66).

Nick O’Hern (66) is in a share of fourth place with Hunter Mahan (71), Tommy Gainey (67) and Tag Ridings (65) at seven under.

Watson backed up his opening-round 63 with four birdies and a bogey and despite taking a solid advantage into the weekend claimed his game was a little off. “It was a struggle and I just had to play it in safe,” the former Masters champion said yesterday. “I just didn’t feel it today, body, whatever it is, you know waking up early I just didn’t feel 100 per cent so I just hung it together, just tried to play to the fat of the greens, play smart and try to take all the trouble out of play.”

Harrington carded a second successive 66 but was not exactly flush with confidence despite being well placed going into the final two rounds. “I’m not buzzing with confidence out there,” Harrington said.

“I’m very pleased with the score but my score is flattering, given how I played a little bit, I holed some long putts out there so I feel like I need to play a bit better on the weekend. I can’t always rely on holing 20-25 footers.”

Keegan Bradley (65) and Webb Simpson (69) sit just four shots off the pace while last week’s US Open winner Justin Rose (68) was a further shot back at five under. With Zach Johnson also five back, six major champions sit inside the top 12 of a neatly stacked leaderboard.

“Getting up this morning was a tough one, the night was very very short,” Rose said. “Tomorrow is an important day to just keep the momentum going, keep the adrenaline going for Sunday and try to make something happen.”