PGA Tour

Van Aswegen shares lead at PGA event

Tyrone van Aswegen (Getty Images)
Tyrone van Aswegen (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - Unheralded Tyrone Van Aswegen, whose only two career wins came on the South African tour, is making a bid for his first victory on the PGA Tour.

The 34-year-old South African is trying to snap an American tour winless drought by claiming a share of the second round lead at the Travelers Championship.

Van Aswegen, of Johannesburg, fired a bogey-free, four-under par 66 in Friday's second round to grab a share of the lead with Daniel Berger, Russell Henley and Aussie Marc Leishman at seven-under 133.

"Just taking care of business and just trying to play well again," said Van Aswegen. "That's all I can do."

American Jerry Kelly, who shared the lead after the first round, headlines a four-way tie for fifth at 134 after firing a 70.

Vaughn Taylor and Andrew Loupe shot 71 and 76 to move to 135 and 140, respectively.

Blayne Barber had the day's low round of 64 and is in a six-way tie for ninth at 135.

England's Paul Casey and Fiji's Vijay Singh, a former world number one, are also at 135. Casey shot 67 while Singh carded a 68. Casey lost here last year in a playoff.

Van Aswegen is winless on the PGA Tour but has victories on the South African Sunshine Tour -- with both coming in 2008. He won the Nedbank Affinity Cup eight months after winning the Vodacom Origins of Golf by four strokes in Pretoria.

After starting the year with a bang by finishing third in the Open, Van Aswegen has struggled of late.

"I can't think of winning," he said. "I think you'll be overwhelmed if you do that."

But following a second straight bogey-free round Friday, maybe he can start to dream a little.

World number six Bubba Watson, the defending and two-time Travelers champion, is four shots off the lead and tied for 24th after Friday's 70.

American fans were also thinking on Friday of the Olympics where Watson will be headed as soon as this event ends.

Watson, who will represent the United States in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was serenaded with chants of "USA!"

"What an honour knowing how close we are to getting to Rio, how close we are to being what we call Olympians," Watson said. "For golfers to be called Olympians, what a thrill, what a privilege, what an honour."

Watson chose to defend his 2015 Travelers Championship title instead of attending the Rio Games opening ceremonies on Friday.

"It would've been a thrill of a lifetime to be there," Watson said, "But being defending champ, knowing this course as well as I do, why would I not come here?"

Six players from the field of 156 will compete at the Olympics, comprising Watson, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed (United States); Padraig Harrington (Ireland); Alex Cejka (Germany); Soren Kjeldsen (Denmark).

Leading second-round scores on Friday at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut (USA unless stated, par 70):

133 - Tyrone Van Aswegen (RSA) 67-66, Daniel Berger 66-67, Russell Henley 68-65, Marc Leishman (AUS) 65-68

134 - Jerry Kelly 64-70, Robert Garrigus 67-67, Russell Knox (SCO) 67-67, Patrick Rodgers 68-66

135 - Blayne Barber 71-64, Paul Casey (ENG) 68-67, Scott Pinckney 68-67, Brian Stuard 70-65, Vaughn Taylor 64-71, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 67-68, Jon Rahm (ESP) 65-70

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