Second-round notes: 3M Championship

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July 11, 2009
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

BLAINE, Minn. -- Here is where the leaderboard stands after 36 holes:

1. Nick Price (133/-11 T2. Gene Jones and Andy Bean (134/-10) 4. Bernhard Langer (135/-9). T5. Tom Kite and Scott Hoch (136/-8).\

• How successful has Nick Price been when holding sole possession of the lead after 36 holes on the Champions Tour? He is 1 and 4 when he's been in that position. His victory came at this year's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am near Tampa in April. In his other events, he tied for second at the 2008 FedEx Kinko's Classic and the 2009 Principal Charity Classic and third at the 2008 Principal Charity Classic.

• In the previous 16 3M Championships, players leading or co-leading after Saturday's round have won 10 times, including eight of the last 12 years in Minnesota. The exceptions came in 2006 (Curtis Strange), 2003, 2004 (both Tom Purtzer) and 2001 (Hale Irwin and Jose Maria Canizares).

• Sunday's winner will receive 263 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. Bernhard Langer (1,162) and Michael Allen (720) are currently Nos. 1 and 2 in the race, followed by Larry Mize (709), Loren Roberts (625) and Keith Fergus (570). Allen and Roberts are not in the field this week.

Steve Thomas matched his career low on the Champions Tour with his 8-under 64 on Saturday. He also had a 64 (7 under) at the 2007 Boeing Championship at Sandestin. Thomas' score was just one shy of the lowest second-round score in tournament history. Don Pooley shot a 63 in 2003, which was matched by R.W. Eaks in 2008. Thomas' effort helped him jump from a tie for 53rd into seventh place.

• In the Greats of Golf Challenge, Team Ryder Cup (Billy Casper, Gene Littler and Tony Jacklin) leads Team International (Chi Chi Rodriguez, Lee Trevino and Charles Coody) by one stroke. Team Army (Arnold Palmer, Al Geiberger and Don January) trails by three strokes. Team Ryder Cup had a combined score of 12 under (better-ball format).

Gene Jones finds himself in nearly the same position he was a year ago after 36 holes. Jones and Andy Bean trail Nick Price by one stroke heading into Sunday's final round. Jones was ties for second after 36 holes here in 2008, three strokes behind eventual winner R.W. Eaks. He finished fourth in 2008. He fired a bogey-free, 4-under 68 on Saturday.

• Sunday's final group will be the same as Saturday's -- Nick Price, Gene Jones and Andy Bean. Price won earlier this year at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Jones and Bean each have a pair of second-place finishes.

• One day after 45 players finished with rounds under par, only 32 did so on Saturday, but there were 17 rounds in the 60s compared to 15 on Friday. The field averaged 72.228 compared to 71.506 in the opening round. Saturday's average was the highest second-round average since 2004, when the field averaged 73.195.

Gene Jones has the fewest putts after two rounds -- 50 -- while John Cook, Price and Tom Kite lead all players in Greens in Regulation (30 of 36/.833). Pooley is the leader in Driving Accuracy at 96.4%, hitting 27 of 28 fairways.

• Price and Scott Hoch each have just one bogey after 36 holes. Bean leads all players with 14 birdies, one more than Jones.

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