Watson keeps Champions lead

ROOKIE LEADER: Alex Prugh, a former University of Washington star, shoots 7-under 65 for 21-under
195 to become the first PGA Tour rookie to lead a Bob Hope Classic round since John Senden in ’02.

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ROOKIE LEADER: Alex Prugh, a former University of Washington star, shoots 7-under 65 for 21-under 195 to become the first PGA Tour rookie to lead a Bob Hope Classic round since John Senden in ’02.

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii — Tom Watson knows the simple solution to turning around an ugly putting performance.

"Make them," he said. "Just make them all, and that's what I did on the back nine."

Watson birdied six holes on the back nine for 6-under 66 and a two-stroke lead Saturday over senior newcomer Fred Couples after Round 2 of the Champions Tour's season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

Watson, 60, who also led after the first round, overcame a rocky start and finished with nine birdies and three bogeys for a 15-under 129 total. The scores were low again on Hualalai Golf Course, a resort course among the tour's easiest.

Couples, who shot a bogey-free 66, is making his first official tour start on a sponsor exemption to the winners-only event. Tom Lehman had 67 to join Michael Allen (66) at 12 under.

PGA: Alex Prugh, a 25-year-old rookie, shot 7-under 65 on the tough La Quinta course to take a one-stroke lead over Bubba Watson and rookie Martin Flores at the Bob Hope Classic in La Quinta, Calif.

With his third straight consistent round in the five-round, four-course pro-am, Prugh (rhymes with "Who") pulled ahead at 21-under 195. "I was almost bored with myself a little bit," he said. "I was hitting the driver very well, and I kept on hitting fairway after fairway."

After rain washed out play Thursday and threatened Friday, the players reveled in perfect scoring weather. Flores shot the second straight 65 of his bogey-free tournament to pull into a tie with second-round leader Watson (68), who rallied after a slow start on the Arnold Palmer Private course.

European: Martin Kaymer took a one-stroke lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship after shooting a third straight 5-under 67 for 15-under 201 in the United Arab Emirates. Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter were tied for second after both shot 67s.

Watson keeps Champions lead 01/23/10 [Last modified: Sunday, January 24, 2010 12:19am]

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