David Frost started Saturday’s second round of the Allianz Championship four shots out of the lead.
He shot 65.
He’s now seven shots behind.
Tough league, this Champions Tour.
Not that Frost needs to be reminded of that notion. The South African shot 17-under for 54 holes in the season-opening event last month, and all that got him was a closer spot in the trophy presentation as he settled for a runner-up finish after a playoff loss to John Cook.
So Frost wasn’t too disappointed after he shot the 65, only to fall seven back after Rocco Mediate shot a course-record 61.
“You can’t think of that stuff,” Frost said. “There’s three rounds to every tournament. It’s good to come back into the pack again. Who knows? If I can put the pressure on tomorrow … the back nine is tough here. Anything can happen.”
Frost finished last season as one of the hottest players on the Champions Tour, and the offseason did little to slow his momentum. In his last five starts, he has finished T9, won a playoff at the AT&T Championship, was T10, lost the playoff to Cook and is tied for fourth entering today’s final round.
Frost says he has no doubt that, at 53, he’s playing some of the best golf of his life. It seems silly that someone soon eligible for early retirement can be playing such a demanding game better than he ever has. But like the wine company he created, Frost’s game keeps improving each day.
“I sure don’t remember striking my irons like I have now,” Frost said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s always something you work for in this game, and I guess the hardest part is to embrace it and not try to second guess it. I just have to act dumb.”
Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. And the irons haven’t even been the strength of his game.
“Nice putting today,” his caddie/brother Sam Frost, a teaching pro at Congressional Country Club, told him afterward.
Of course, Sam could say that to his brother after most rounds. Saturday’s round extended a streak where Frost hasn’t had a three-putt in 290 holes, a span that surpasses 16 rounds of competition. The Champions Tour record is 346 holes, set by Joe Inman in 1998.
But here’s the kicker: Frost had no idea he had such a streak going. Nor does he think much of it.
“Of course, I don’t think about something like that,” Frost said. “If I three-putt a par-5, are you going to say, well, you still haven’t three-putted for a bogey?’ I just go out and play the game.”
Lately, he’s playing it better than ever. Frost said the difference for him has been “real solid swing feelings, not swing thoughts.”
Whatever that means.
“He’s obviously on top of his game,” Sam Frost said. “He actually didn’t putt that great (Friday), but he managed to still shoot a 70 and keep him in it. You don’t win a tournament on a Friday out here, but you can lose it.”
Frost didn’t win the Allianz with Saturday’s 65, but at least he gave him a glimmer of chance Sunday if Mediate falters.
When asked was the last time he played with Mediate, Frost shook his head. “No idea,” he said. “Long time ago. Good to see him, though.”
Even if that vantage point is seven shots behind, despite Saturday’s brilliance.