James Morrison leader at French Open

Updated: July 1, 2011, 5:27 PM ET
Associated Press

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France -- James Morrison put aside the chronic stomach ailment and personal heartache Friday, shooting a 5-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the French Open.

The Englishman almost skipped the tournament after having to go to the hospital Tuesday because of Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract that has bothered him for a decade.

"I had a flare-up at the start of the week," said Morrison, who had a 10-under 132 total. "I wasn't going to play up to Wednesday morning."

It is far from the only difficulty the 26-year-old Morrison has had to overcome recently.

His wife, Jessica, was diagnosed with a cancerous cyst last year, then had two miscarriages.

"A couple cancer scares and we had a couple miscarriages," Morrison said. "And being told we'll never have kids to falling pregnant and having two miscarriages. ... Her health is my priority. She's OK right now but it's something that you have to keep monitoring every three months forever now."

His golf game suffered because of it, and he missed his four previous cuts on the European Tour. But after starting with 10 straight pars Friday, he birdied five of his last eight holes to surge past overnight leader Richard Green, the Australian who was one shot back after a 68.

England's Mark Foster (68) was third at 6 under.

American star Bubba Watson missed the cut, then suggested fan behavior and poor security contributed to his disappointing performance. Watson shot a 3-over 74 to finish at 6 over on the Albatross course.

"It's not a normal tournament," Watson said. "There's cameras, there's phones, there's everything. There's no security. I don't know which holes to walk through. There's no ropes.

"I'm not used to that," Watson said. "I'm not saying it's bad. It's just something I'm not used to, I'm not comfortable with. It's very strange to me. Just very uncomfortable.

"Every tee says 'no phones, no video cameras' and on every tee there's hundreds."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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