David Toms has six top 10s this season.
Chris Condon/PGA TOUR/WireImage.com
Saturday, June 23, 2007

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Jay Williamson is right where he wants to be, in contention to win on the PGA Tour instead of the Nationwide.

Williamson shot consecutive 66s and was tied with David Toms atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Travelers Championship.

It is the 40-year-old journeyman's second PGA event this year. He is currently seventh on the Nationwide Tour's money list.

"I've learned that there is one place to play golf for a living, and that is on this tour," he said. "I'd much rather go to Flint (the next PGA Tour stop) than Peek n' Peak" (the next Nationwide event).

(Click here to see photos from the second round.)

Toms, who has had five top-10 finishes this year, shot a 5-under 65 in blustery and rainy conditions.

Starting on the back nine, Toms got to 9 under after an eagle on the par-4 second hole, pitching in his approach from 84 yards. But after a 21-minute rain delay, he bogeyed the seventh to fall back into a tie.

Toms said he failed to adjust to the slower greens after the rain.

"I missed puts at six, seven, eight and nine and they were all on the low side, not quite hard enough," he said.

Williamson closed his round by making birdie on the 17th and 18th holes while playing into a 25 mph wind, with gusts at more than 35 mph.

"Obviously I drove it well," Williamson said. "I mean, you cannot play a day like today out of the rough."

Williamson would earn a PGA Tour exemption with a win. At 40, he said he constantly thinks about whether playing the game is still worthwhile.

"It's a tough road," he said. "I have three great kids, a great wife that I never see. I spend more time with my caddie than I do at home. Especially on the Nationwide Tour, you wake up and you can't quite remember where you are and you're like, 'What am I doing?' It's just nice to be here."

Williamson is playing Hartford on a sponsor's exemption. He missed the cut in his other Tour appearance this year at the Honda Classic in March.

A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Williamson used a little ingenuity along the way Friday. He began the day with a screw loose — on his driver. On his second hole he consulted a rules official who helped him out with a Swiss Army knife.

"Turned out we got it fixed and I was off to the races," he said.

First-round leader Hunter Mahan followed his 62 with a 1-over 71, dropping to 7 under.

Mahan lost the lead on the seventh hole, a 443-yarder straight into the wind. His drive landed in a fairway bunker on the right and his approach dropped about 40 yards short of the green. Mahan's chip went past the hole by about 9 feet and he missed the comeback for par.

"It's a bit gusty out there," he said. "It makes going after pins tougher, hard to get your distance better and just control is tough."

Olin Browne, the 1998 champion, finished at 3 under for the day and was two strokes off the lead. Browne, who also started on the back nine, bogeyed his first two holes and eagled his next two — his first two of the year.

He said his wedge approach on the 412-yard 12th hole got him going.

"Everyone is yelling, 'Go in!' And usually that one ends up two to three feet behind the hole, and you think, 'Man that was close.' But this one dropped," Browne said.

Former U.S. Open champ Corey Pavin also shot a 66, despite three-putting the 18th, to move into contention at 4 under. Pavin, playing this tournament for the 15th time, said veterans like Browne and himself have an advantage in knowing how to play the course on a windy day.

"I think you have to be patient," he said, "and I think patience comes with old people like us."

The course wasn't as kind to Masters champ Zach Johnson, who shot a 74 and missed the cut. Vijay Singh shot a 71, and is 1 under for the tournament, tied for 34th. Defending champion J.J. Henry, at 1 over, was one of 79 players to make it to the weekend.

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