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Watney and Stricker lead Transitions

  • Story Highlights
  • Nick Watney and Steve Stricker claim halfway lead in Transitions Championship
  • Both men have finished in second place to Phil Mickelson this season
  • Chapchai Nirat sets 'world' record for 32-under-par win in India on Asian Tour
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(CNN) -- In-form Nick Watney and Steve Stricker share the lead going into the third round of the Transitions Championship at Palm Harbor in Florida.

Stricker strikes a drive away during his second round 67 at Copperhead.

Stricker strikes a drive away during his second round 67 at Copperhead.

Both men have been denied victories in the past month on the PGA Tour by Phil Mickelson, but have made the most of the world number two's absence at Copperhead this week.

Watney and Stricker moved to six-under-par with 67s, leading a group of no less than eight by one shot.

Jonathan Byrd, 50-year-old Tom Lehman, Charles Howell, Troy Matteson, JJ Henry, Joe Ogilvie, Australian Stuart Appleby and South African Retief Goosen are the chasing pack.

First round leader Jim Furyk is seven behind after a 78 that represented his worst round on the PGA Tour for nearly two years as he chases his first win since 2007.

Watney, who has risen swiftly in the work rankings this year to 40th, told the Press Association that he was still improving by experience.

"I guess I'm playing very well but it really seems like this is just what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm keeping the game pretty simple and putting well.

"I think I'm still learning. Like last weekend was a new experience for me just to play in the last group with Phil in that kind of atmosphere.

"But I enjoy trying to get better and learning from different situations."

Stricker said he improved in his second round after making "dumb mistakes" in his first round.

Seventeen-year-old Ryo Ishikawa, the new star of Japanese golf, made the cut on level par on only his second PGA Tour start.

World number one Tiger Woods is sitting out the tournament but returns next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

In other tournament action, Chapchai Nirat of Thailand won the SAIL Open in India with an incredible 32-under-par aggregate.

It is the lowest-ever score to par on the Asian Tour and believed to be the best on any tour in the world.

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