AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Bubba Watson won the Masters two years ago with his brand of “Bubba golf,” producing shots of raw skill and wild imagination. His strategy now is to keep it simple, and he is halfway to another green jacket.
Watson took over Augusta National in the second round of this year’s event with 75 minutes of brilliance and power. On another demanding day of crispy greens and swirling wind, he ran off five straight birdies on the back nine and wound up with a 4-under 68 for a three-shot lead over John Senden.
Watson made bogey on the 18th hole with a shot that bounced left of the green and into the gallery. He finished at 7-under 137, giving him the largest 36-hole lead at the Masters since Chad Campbell in 2006.
Senden qualified for the Masters a month ago with his win at Innisbrook. After a rugged start, he played the final 14 holes with six birdies and no bogeys for a 68 that puts him in the last group at a major on the weekend.
Adam Scott also made a late recovery with three birdies on the back nine to salvage a 72, putting him four shots back at 141, along with Thomas Bjorn (68), Jonas Blixt (71) and Jordan Spieth, the 20-year-old from Texas who looked solid on the mystifying greens and shot a 70.
NEW YORK (AP) - Players’ union head Tony Clark has asked the commissioner’s office to investigate comments attributed to unidentified executives in an ESPN.com story estimating what they would offer shortstop Stephen Drew and designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who remain free agents.
The story said executives were asked if they had a need at one of those positions, what would their offers be. The range was from $3 million to $12 million.
Both players turned down $14.1 million qualifying offers from their former clubs in November. If a club signs Drew or Morales before the amateur draft in June, it would forfeit a high draft pick.
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) - Kevin Harvick won his first career pole at Darlington Raceway as he looks to chase his first Southern 500.
Harvick came out on top in the first knockout qualifying session at NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway since the circuit made the change from single-car laps. Joey Logano, the winner Monday in Texas, was second, followed by Aric Almirola.
Almirola’s teammate, Marcos Ambrose, was fourth, followed by Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch.
Points leader Jeff Gordon, a seven-time Darlington winner, will start ninth, with Denny Hamlin rounding out the top 10.