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Watson Leads by 2 Strokes in Conn.

Cromwell, Conn. — Bubba Watson shot a 3-under-par 67 yesterday to take a two-stroke lead over Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington after two rounds of the Travelers Championship.

Watson, the 2010 Travelers champion, was at 10-under 130 after two days of play at the TPC-River Highlands. Reed and Harrington were at 8-under after both shot 66s in the second round.

Woodstock, Vt., native Keegan Bradley shot a 65 and is four strokes back.

Four players — including 2007 champion Hunter Mahan — were tied for fourth at 7-under. Charley Hoffman, who held the first-round lead after a 61 on Thursday, followed that with a 73 in a round that included three bogeys and a double-bogey.

One week after winning the U.S. Open at Merion, Justin Rose was tied for 12th at 5-under.

Watson, whose last victory came in the 2012 Masters, has played well in this event often. He’s finished in the top 15 four times in six previous starts, including a second-place finish last year.

Miyazato Leads LPGA Event

Rogers, Ark. — Mika Miyazato birdied six of 10 holes in the middle of her round to shoot a 6-under 65 and earn the first-round lead at LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship.

Miyazato finished in a tie for second at the event last year, missing a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to finish a stroke back of winner Ai Miyazato.

Tie on Champions Tour

Glenview, Ill. — Craig Stadler birdied five of his first 11 holes yesterday to jump into a share of the lead with Duffy Waldorf and Bernhard Langer at 5-under-par 67 in the rain-delayed Champions Tour Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club.

NHL Hockey

Rangers Hire Coach

New York — One week after Alain Vigneault emerged as the leading coaching candidate, the New York Rangers hired him yesterday to replace the fired John Tortorella.

Vigneault agreed to a five-year contract. He was introduced during a news conference at Radio City Music Hall.

Vigneault was the choice of team president and general manager Glen Sather from a group that included former Rangers captain Mark Messier. Vigneault interviewed at the club’s organizational meetings in California last week and then met with owner James Dolan in New York.

Vigneault was dismissed as coach of the Vancouver Canucks on May 22 after seven years behind their bench.

■ Lindy Ruff was hired as the new coach of the Dallas Stars.

Ruff was fired by the Buffalo Sabres in February, in his 15th season as their coach.

It’s an interesting twist for the coach who was on the other side of the Stars’ only Stanley Cup championship. His only Stanley Cup appearance came in 1999, when the Sabres lost to Dallas after Brett Hull’s controversial series-clinching goal late in the third overtime of Game 6.


Eau De Irish? Notre Dame Cologne Planned

South Bend, Ind. — Fighting Irish fans can smell, smell for old Notre Dame starting this fall.

Two companies, Cloudbreak Group and Steiner Collectibles, are pairing up to develop fragrances for the school, University of Notre Dame director of licensing Michael Low told the South Bend Tribune .

ND Gold Eau De Toilette for men and Lady Irish Eau De Parfum will be available this fall, with 3.4-ounce bottles expected to retail for $62, he said.

Other scented products will include women’s shower gel and body lotion; men’s hair and body wash; and aftershave balm, he said.

The university has previously licensed other lotions and sanitizers, but this is the first time the school has worked with a company whose sole focus is the development and distribution of uniquely scented products, he said.