Notebook: Round 2, SAS ChampionshipKirk Triplett is chasing back-to-back wins, having won the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.October 12, 2013
By Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff
Weather: Cloudy with light drizzle at times during the day. Daytime highs were in the upper-60s. Winds were from the N at 5-10 mph.
Current Leaderboard: 1. Russ Cochran 66-66-132/-12; T2. Kirk Triplett 67-67-134/-10, Bernhard Langer 67-67-134/-10, David Frost 67-67-134/-10; 5. Michael Allen 67-68-135/-9; T6. Olin Browne 70-66-136/-8, Anders Forsbrand 69-67-136/-8, Kenny Perry 68-68-136/-8, Craig Stadler 68-68-136/-8
Russ Cochran posted another 6-under 66 and finds himself holding a two-stroke margin on the trio of Kirk Triplett, David Frost and defending champion Bernhard Langer after two rounds at the SAS Championship. After closing with a 7-under 30 on his back nine on Friday, Cochran got off to a blazing start on the front nine on Saturday. He birdied five of his first six holes to open up a lead of as much as three strokes. A bogey at No. 7 slowed his momentum, but that was his only blemish the rest of the way. He’ll go for his second win of the season on Sunday and the fifth of his Champions Tour career.
-- Cochran has owned sole possession of the lead two times heading into the final round in his Champions Tour career and emerged with a win in one of those and that came here in 2010. In the other, Cochran finished T4 at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. In addition, Cochran shared the lead heading into the final round three times and his lone win in those three came at the 2011 Senior British Open. He finished T10 at the 2009 AT&T Championship and T2 at the 2011 Boeing Classic.
-- Cochran’s accuracy off the tee has paid dividends. He has hit 28 of 30 fairways through two rounds to lead all players in that category and he is also T5 in greens in regulation (31 of 36).
-- A win by Cochran on Sunday would make him the seventh multiple winner on Tour this year, one fewer than last year.
-- Triplett is bidding to join Kenny Perry this year with back-to-back victories. Perry won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship and the U.S. Senior Open. Triplett won the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach two weeks ago.
-- Triplett also increased his string of consecutive holes without a three-putt to 182 Saturday, the best current streak on the Champions Tour. He has also posted 10 straight sub-par rounds dating back to his first round at the Montreal Championship.
-- A total of 315 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race will go to the winner on Sunday. Perry (currently T6) leads the race with 2,760 points, followed by Bernhard Langer (currently T2) with 2,091 points, a margin of 669 points.
-- In the 12-year history of the SAS Championship, seven second-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win the event (Bruce Lietzke in 2001, Craig Stadler in 2004, Tom Jenkins in 2006, Mark Wiebe in 2007, Tom Pernice Jr. in 2009 and Perry in 2011).
-- The winner of this event has come from the final group eight times in 12 years, including seven of the last eight years. Last year’s winner, Bernhard Langer, played in the second to last group.
-- A top-10 finish by Anders Forsbrand could pay dividends. He is currently T6 and is the fifth alternate for next week’s Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. A top-10 would earn him a berth based on a Tour rule for a top-10 finisher in the previous event not otherwise exempt.
-- Langer and Michael Allen have each birdied five of the six par-5 holes at Prestonwood Country Club.
-- Joe Daley remains the only player in the field without a bogey through the first two rounds.
-- Jeff Sluman was disqualified prior to his round on Saturday for signing an incorrect scorecard. After shooting a 4-under 68 on Friday, Sluman discovered Saturday morning that he had mistakenly used two different types of golf balls during his first round. He informed Tour officials Saturday morning and was disqualified. By rule, he would have had to add two penalty strokes to each hole that he played a different ball with a maximum of four penalty strokes.
-- The field scoring average was 70.835 on Saturday, a slight improvement from Friday’s average of 71.425. There were 33 rounds in the 60s compared to 23 a day earlier and 46 sub-par rounds, three better than Friday.