Jacobson leads rain-soaked Travelers

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IOL sport jun23 Fredrik Jacobson AFP Fredrik Jacobson.

Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson prolonged his love affair with the Travelers Championship when the title-holder grabbed the lead in a rain-hit second round on Friday.

Jacobson picked up four birdies and an eagle in a four-under 66 for a nine-under total of 131, his sixth straight round of 66 or better on the TPC River Highlands layout.

U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson shot a 69 to remain within striking distance, four strokes behind the Swede on 135.

Rain stopped play for the day in mid-afternoon and 77 players must return on Saturday morning to complete their rounds.

Jacobson went out in the early groups and after opening with a par on the 10th, his first hole, went birdie-birdie-eagle to soar up the leaderboard, the run highlighted by a 40-foot putt for eagle on the par-five 13th.

“I started off really good today. It was good to get into a good start and get things running straight away,” he said.

“Would have liked to have a couple more as the day went on, but overall I played really steady.”

Jacobson dropped shots at the 14th and his final hole but added two birdies in his last nine holes to be well placed in his bid for a second PGA Tour title and to join Phil Mickelson as a repeat winner here.

“Last year I really felt like things started to click at the U.S. Open and similar this time around,” he said.

“I do like the course, but I liked it the first three times I came here and I missed the cut. So I think it's more important the way I am playing.”

The bad weather ended play prematurely and also brought a halt to good runs by Australian Nathan Green and American Charley Hoffman.

Green started with two bogeys before bouncing back with birdies on five of the next seven holes. He was three-under through nine and one shot off the lead at eight-under overall.

Hoffman opened with a par at the 10th before reeling off five consecutive birdies to join Green at eight-under.

“It was a nice five-hole run,” Hoffman said. “I wish I could have kept it going a little longer, but obviously I'll be in a good frame of mind going into tomorrow.”

Americans Blake Adams (64) and Roland Thatcher (67), and Australian Stuart Appleby (65), were a shot further adrift at seven-under 133.

Appleby welcomed his return to form after missed eight cuts in 13 events this season.

“I wasn't hitting it any good and I wasn't thinking any good and I was just finding it really hard,” Appleby said. “My body and mind are a lot better, and if you get those two right, you can play better golf.” -Reuters


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