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Watson grabs lead at U.S. Senior Open

HAVEN, Wis. (AP) — Tom Watson says his swing is awkward, he's not comfortable at Whistling Straits and his legs don't feel very good.

Watson's desire to win a major championship? Strong as ever.

"My approach to the game has never differed. It's still to go out and play my best golf," he said after grabbing the second-round lead at the U.S. Senior Open with a 66 on Friday to move to 8 under. "The body doesn't feel like the Tom Watson of old, it feels like my legs are in concrete somewhat. But, I got the job done today."

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His chances aren't too bad, either.

Watson, who has been the runner-up in this tournament three of the last five years and is winless in all seven of his appearances, had a large gallery following his final nine holes. Loren Roberts, Des Smyth, Lonnie Nielsen, Ben Crenshaw and Vicente Fernandez were tied for second, three strokes behind at 5-under 139.

But the day belonged to Watson, who started at No. 10 and birdied four straight holes from No. 14 to No. 17. He gave one back on No. 18, but carded four more birdies down the stretch before a bogey on No. 8.

"I wish I could feel like the golf swing is hitting on all cylinders, I feel like it's a little bit off," Watson said.

Watson said he thought about Byron Nelson's mantra.

"Whenever he got too complacent about the way he was playing, he started making mistakes," Watson said. "But if he felt unsure about the way he was swinging, it seemed like he scored the best. So maybe that's the state I'm in right now."

Nielsen, who won last week's Commerce Bank Championship in East Meadow, N.Y., can't believe he's near the top of the leaderboard with Crenshaw and Watson.

"You don't use those three names in the same sentence very often," he said. "I'm still using the same swing keys this week and the ball's going pretty much where I'm looking most of the time."

First-round leader Eduardo Romero had a rough afternoon capped by a triple-bogey meltdown on the 18th hole.

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