After 36 holes of stroke play Tom Watson is leading the field of 48 professional and amateur golfers in the Tom Watson Challenge. The 72 hole event is being played at the National Golf Club in Parkville, Mo to determine the best player in the Kansas City golf community. On the course for day two the players faced what seemed to be more difficult pin locations.
Watson struggled with his putter throughout the round. After making birdie on the second hole, a hole he bogeyed in round one, he went on to make three bogeys in a row. Including the par three fourth hole after his tee shot had found the green. He then three putted for a one over score of four.
On the eighth hole his putting seemed to be improving as his second shot found the green, short of the pin. His third shot was uphill a considerable distance and he was able to drain it for a three on the par four. From there he made four straight bogeys before reaching the par four 13th hole. His second shot had hit the green in then spun backwards till it was just short of the hole. It appeared his putter had started to play true as Watson was able to hole the putt for a birdie sending the score for the tournament to three under par.
The 14th hole, a short par three that is dramatically uphill, produced another hiccup in his putting game. His tee shot landed on the green and left of the flag. His second raced past the cup on the right to within only a few feet. What appeared to be a simple tap-in for par led to a bogey as the ball lipped out to only inches from the cup.
On the par three 16th hole Watson hit a tee shot on the green that ran past the hole. His second shot was a downhill put with a right to left break. He made a perfect read and the ball found the bottom of the cup on his second shot, taking him back to three under par for the tournament.
On number 18 Watson hit a shot from the middle of the fairway that stopped about three to four feet from the hole. He was able to brush the ball into the cup with only one stroke, finishing the round at four under par.
At the end of the second round Sean Dougherty of Overland Park, Kan., who began the day at even par, was in second place alone and three strokes back of Watson. Dougherty made bogey on two, six and 16 but countered them with birdies on four, five, seven and 15.
Bryan Norton, playing in his sixth year of the Tom Watson Challenge, finished in third place at even par. Norton had led the field for part of the second round, getting to three under par. A triple bogey on the par four 17th hole sent him back to third place.
Watson, Dougherty and Norton are scheduled to play in the final group on Sunday with a 10 a.m. starting time. The event is open to the public and proceeds from the event go to the First Tee Foundation of Greater Kansas City.