By Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff
Weather: Partly sunny in the morning with high temperatures in the mid-80s at mid-day and light winds from the NW at 5 mph. A thunderstorm moved into the area and play was suspended by lightning from 12:17--3:30 p.m. A light rain fell briefly during the afternoon.
-- For the second straight year, a score of 9-under par leads the Regions Tradition at the halfway mark. Duffy Waldorf scattered six birdies and crafted a 68, good enough for a one-stroke lead over Jeff Sluman, the first-round leader, through two rounds at Shoal Creek. Waldorf birdied three of his first six holes on both the front and back nines but made bogey at Nos. 9 and 16 to get in with the 4-under score.
-- Waldorf was third last week at the Principal Charity Classic after being the 36-hole leader at the 54-hole event in Des Moines, Iowa, his best performance on the 2013 Champions Tour.
-- He finished T6 in the Senior PGA Championship two weeks ago in St. Louis, his first appearance in a senior major championship.
-- Waldorf is bidding for his first career victory on the Champions Tour in his 14th start on the circuit. His best career finish to date on the Champions Tour is a runner-up effort last year at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
-- In three 2013 PGA TOUR appearances, he’s made two cuts and was T39 at the Puerto Rico Open. Also has one start on the Web.com Tour, finishing T64 at the South Georgia Classic.
-- He’s searching for his first TOUR victory since winning the 2000 National Car Rental Golf Classic at Disney and a win in Birmingham on Sunday would end a drought of 12 years, 7 months, 10 days.
-- Prior to today, the only other time Waldorf was in this position after 36 holes of a major championship came at the 2002 British Open when he was tied for the halfway lead and eventually finished T18.
-- Waldorf would also become the third rookie to win on the Champions Tour in the last four tournaments and fourth overall this year, joining Esteban Toledo (Insperity Championship), Kohki Idoki (Senior PGA Championship), and Rocco Mediate (Allianz Championship) in his first start on the Champions Tour earlier this year.
-- Waldorf’s stat summary through 36 holes of this year’s Regions Tradition:
-- Sluman’s stat summary through 36 holes of this year’s Regions Tradition:
-- Sluman teamed with Brad Faxon to win the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf earlier this year. Sluman’s last victory in a stroke-play tournament was at the 2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
-- Halfway leaders have won six of the last 26 72-hole tournaments on the Champions Tour dating back to the start of 2008 season. Roger Chapman was the last player to lead after 36 holes and go on to win when he claimed last year’s Senior PGA Championship, the first of five majors in 2012.
-- No 36-hole leader has gone on to win the Regions Tradition since 2003 when Tom Watson enjoyed a four-stroke lead through two rounds after carding a 10-under 62 on Friday. Watson actually trailed Jim Ahern by one stroke after three rounds, but rebounded to win on Sunday by one.
-- Four players have won their first Champions Tour events at the Regions Tradition – Jack Nicklaus (1990), Tom Kite (2000), Loren Roberts (2005) and Eduardo Romero (2006).
-- Rod Spittle’s eight birdies led to a 6-under 66, the best round of the day. Spittle was T6 at the Senior PGA Championship and he joins Duffy Waldorf as the only other player among the top-10 at the Regions Tradition (3rd) who finished among the top 10 at the Champions Tour’s first major of the year.
-- David Frost made six birdies today, but shot 70. He made just one par in his last 10 holes on Friday. Despite the up-and-down round, Frost finds himself just three strokes off the lead after his first 36 holes at Shoal Creek this week. Earlier this year, Frost won the Toshiba Classic.
-- Peter Senior (T7) is in position to end his long victory drought on the Champions Tour. Senior ($3,740,253) is second to only Joey Sindelar ($3,777,748) in most career money won on the Champions Tour without a victory. In 79 career starts on the Champions Tour, Senior has finished second five times and third five times. He lost a playoff to Tom Lehman at the 2011 Regions Tradition and also fell in overtime at the 2011 Songdo IBD Championship and 2012 Allianz Championship. Senior also was a runner-up in Birmingham in 2010 at the old Regions Charity Classic at Ross Bridge.
-- Tommy Armour III withdrew after the fourth hole today with an injured back. Armour shot 1-under 71 in the opening round at Shoal Creek yesterday. Brad Bryant withdrew from the event after the round with an injury. Bryant shot 78 on Friday and was T72 through 36 holes at the time of the withdrawal.