By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Watson leads at soggy Hope Classic
Watson MUG BW

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Long-hitting Bubba Watson is using the wet weather to his advantage in the Bob Hope Classic.

Watson shot a 10-under 62 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead over Alex Prugh after the second round, which began and ended in driving rain.

The storm wiped out play Thursday and threatened Friday, but there were just enough hours in between squalls for an impressive day by Watson, who's trying to show there's more to his game than his jaw-dropping drives.

Watson still hasn't won on the PGA Tour, but he showed off an improved putting stroke and capitalized on wet fairways at SilverRock for a 29 on the front nine.

He was at 16-under 128 after taking on the tournament's two toughest courses in his first two rounds.

"My length is definitely going to play a part on that golf course, because it's got wide fairways," Watson said. "I can rip it if I want to. The par 5s are reachable, unless you get a day like today. ... It's different (in the rain). It's going to be hard for everybody, but I putted well today. That was my key. I hit a lot of good shots, but I putted well."

Prugh followed his opening 64 with a 66 on the Palmer Course at PGA West. First-round leader Shane Bertsch (69) was at 13 under with Joe Ogilvie (66), Chad Collins (64) and Martin Flores (65).

After rain wiped out Thursday's play, the golfers hustled to finish the second round of the PGA Tour's only five-round, four-course tournament. After what's expected to be a clear weekend of weather, the final round will be played Monday, when rain is expected to return to the Palm Springs area.

The rain persisted Friday morning, but the first golfers took the course around 11 a.m. in twosomes without their amateur counterparts, who sat out a day in an effort to speed up the round before more rain arrived.

The early starters played through the rain before it largely stopped an hour later, but their iron shots produced large sprays of water from the fairways.

The rest of the players weren't surprised by Watson's success.

"The wet weather just totally plays into his favor, because his ball's not going to get out of control when it hits the ground," Bertsch said. "He can just fly it his 330 (yards), and plug it and lift it, clean it, and hit wedges into every hole. It doesn't surprise me one bit."