Round 2 notebook: Greater Hickory ClassicSeptember 19, 2009
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff
Nick Price is 1-for-6 when leading heading into the final round of a Champions Tour event in his three-year career. The lone win came at this year's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Jay Haas is 5-for-7 when leading heading into the final round and 0-1 when tied for the lead.
• So far in 2009, only six of 19 Saturday leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win the event.
• Jay Haas is bidding to become the second two-time winner of this event, joining R.W. Eaks (2007, 2008) with that distinction. Haas won the tournament in 2005, the first of his 12 Champions Tour titles.
• Gil Morgan has the opportunity to become the second-oldest winner in Champions Tour history should he prevail on Sunday. Morgan trails by two strokes with one round remaining. The oldest winner is Mike Fetchick at 63 years to the day. He won the 1985 Hilton Heads Seniors Invitational. Morgan is 62 years, 11 months and 25 days.
• Despite a two-stroke penalty on Friday for accidentally using another player's club, Charles Schwab Cup points leader Fred Funk rebounded and got himself right back into the mix. Funk was assessed his penalty at No. 13 in the opening round, but since that point is 9-under-par. His rounds of 69-67 give him a 36-hole total of 8-under-par 136 and he trails by three strokes.
• A total of 263 points in the year-long Charles Schwab Cup race will be awarded to Sunday's winner. Funk, who is currently T6, leads with 2,109 points followed by Loren Roberts (2,052) and Bernhard Langer (1,734). Neither Roberts nor Langer is in the field. Larry Mize is fourth with 1,205 points and Joey Sindelar is fifth with 1,086.
• David Frost posted a second consecutive 4-under-par 68 in his Champions Tour debut and will begin Sunday's final round T6, three strokes behind co-leaders Nick Price and Jay Haas. Should he win, he would become the 14th player to win his debut and second this year. Tom Lehman teamed with Bernhard Langer to win the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
• None of the second-round leaders/co-leaders captured the event in its first three years, but that trend completely turned around the previous three years as Andy Bean, in 2006, and R.W. Eaks, in 2007 and 2008, have gone on to claim the title. Second-round leaders in the three years prior to 2006 were not able to hold off challenges to win the title. In 2003, Larry Nelson led by one stroke over Joe Inman, and Bob Gilder before Craig Stadler came from two strokes back to win. The following year Bruce Fleisher led Doug Tewell and Mark Lye by three strokes before Tewell closed with an 8-under-par 64 to nip Fleisher by one stroke. In 2005, Dana Quigley led Loren Roberts by a stroke and Jay Haas by two strokes after 36 holes. However, Haas closed with a 7-under-par 65, including birdies on the final three holes, to defeat Quigley by two strokes.
• After a 6-under-par 66 which shared honors for the day's low round with Joe Ozaki, Tom Purtzer moved up 33 spots from a T56 to a T23. A total of 30 players begin the final round within five strokes of the lead.
• Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, Bernhard Langer, who sits atop the Champions Tour's money list, is currently T4 at the Casa Serena Open with one round remaining. The defending champion in the event, he trails 36-hole leader Peter Senior by two strokes in the European Senior Tour event.
• The field scoring average increased from 70.295 on Friday to 71.013 on Saturday. A total of 30 players finished with rounds in the 60s, one fewer than the first round, while 45 finished below par, 10 fewer than Friday.
• Bob Tway posted two eagles on Saturday. The first came at No. 7 and he closed his round with the other at No. 18.
• Tim Simpson remains the only player without a bogey thru 36 holes.
Here are the stat leaders after 36 holes.
Putts Per Round: Jay Haas (53 putts/26.50) Greens in Regulation: Bobby Wadkins (34 of 36/94.4 percent) Driving Accuracy: Mark McNulty & Larry Nelson (28 of 28/100 percent) Driving Distance: Steve Thomas (283.0 yards) Longest Drive: Steve Thomas (296 yards)