Steve Stricker builds lead to five strokes at Bridgestone Senior Players Championship

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Steve Stricker fired a second consecutive bogey-free round that kept in front at the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.
Bogey-free golf.

Three of the sweetest words a player can hear.

Throw in a birdie or nine and it is golf nirvana. Maybe not the state of perfect happiness but it's darn close.

Steve Stricker might not be feeling nirvana-ish but he has to be feeling pretty good about himself – as well he should – after a second consecutive bogey-free round that kept him semi-comfortably in front of the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship at Firestone Country Club.

Stricker's 2-under 68 was not as dazzling as his opening 63 but it got the job done. His two-day total of 9-under 131 left him with a 5-shot lead over Englishman Paul Broadhurst (67-69) and a 7-shot bulge over Marco Dawson (69-69) and Ken Duke (67-71) at the halfway point of the $3 million event, one of five majors on the PGA Tour Champions schedule.

He is the only man in the 78-player field without a bogey.

Stricker's five-stroke cushion matches the largest 36-hole lead in tournament history. J.C. Snead led by five after two rounds in 1992 but closed with rounds of 72-75 and finished tied for second behind Dave Stockton. And, it is the largest lead through 36 holes at a Champions Tour major since Bernhard Langer led by seven midway through the 2014 Senior Open Championship.

"You know, it was a little bit more of a grind today," said Stricker, who parred the first nine holes before cashing in with the first of his two birdies on the 400-yard 10th. "I didn't make a bogey, but I made a couple good saves for pars that kept the round going. But, overall, you know, really good,…
Tim Rogers, Special to USA Today Network
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