Maggert, Fowler join Watson in lead at U.S. Senior Open

Jun 27, 2015 - 3:46 AM Sacramento, CA ( - Jeff Maggert fired a 5-under 65, while Peter Fowler shot a 4-under 66 in Friday's second round and they joined first- round leader Tom Watson (69) in the lead at the U.S. Senior Open Championship.

The trio finished 36 holes at 5-under-par 135. Maggert already picked up a major title earlier this year at the Regions Tradition. Fowler has never won on the Champions Tour, while Watson has 14 victories, including six major titles on the senior circuit.

Defending champion Colin Montgomerie is nipping at the leaders' heels following his second straight 2-under 68 at Del Paso Country Club. He is tied for fourth at 4-under 136 with Bart Bryant (65) and Jimmy Carter (69).

Senior Players champion Bernhard Langer (66) headlines a group of six players tied for seventh at minus-3. He is joined there by Grant Waite (68), Paul Wesselingh (68), Kiyoshi Murota (69), Kevin Sutherland (689) and Woody Austin (70).

Starting on the 10th hole, it took Maggert a while to start his climb up the leaderboard. In fact, he went backwards at first. After a trio of pars from 10, Maggert made back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14.

"I could definitely say I was in a bad attitude at that moment of my round and the tournament," Maggert said about his first five holes. "I played pretty well yesterday and was looking forward to getting off to a good start this morning with the cooler weather, and two early bogeys. Then I just turned it around with the putter."

Maggert turned it on for sure as he went on a run with five straight birdies from 15. He made the turn at minus-3. A bogey on three dropped him back another shot, but the 51- year-old responded with back-to-back gains at four and five.

Maggert finished up with a three straight pars from six followed by a birdie at the par-4 ninth.

Fowler got started on the right track with back-to-back birdies on one and two. He then sandwiched a birdie on four in between a pair of bogeys on three and five. Fowler drained his fourth birdie of the front nine at the par-4 seventh.

Around the turn, Fowler poured in another birdie on 10 to get to minus-3 for the day, but a bogey on 13 dropped him back to 2-under. The 56-year-old finished up strong with a pair of birdies on 16 and 17, which helped him grab a share of the second-round lead.

"I had good drives and good approach shots," Fowler stated about his round. "I'm rolling my putter really well. I've got a good feel for the speed of the greens, and I like the way the greens are rolling."

Watson held the outright lead throughout most of the day. He played a flawless front nine that included birdies on one, four and nine. Now up to 7-under for the week, the 65-year-old dropped his first shot at the 10th. Another bogey on 13 all of a sudden put Watson in a share of first place.

He took the outright lead once again with a birdie on 15 and it appeared as if that lead would last, but Watson tripped to a bogey on 18 to fall into a share of first with Maggert and Fowler.

"To hit a shot under pressure that's really a good golf shot is why I'm our here," said Watson. "That's what I like to do. And when I get to the point where I, you know, I can't do it or I can't do it often enough to really satisfy myself, then I won't be out here."

NOTES: Watson is a three-time runner-up at this event, but has never won it ... Watson would become the oldest player to win a Champions Tour major title ... Montgomerie is looking to join Miller Barber, Allen Doyle, Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as the only multiple winners of this championship. Barber won it three times ... The cut fell at 5-over 145, with 72 players advancing to the weekend ... Steve Lowery (back) and Mark O'Meara (right foot) both withdrew during their second rounds.

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