Schwab Cup Championship: Round 2 notebook

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November 05, 2010
Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR staff

Weather: Cool and overcast with highs in the low-60s and winds were from SW at 5-10 mph. Lift, clean and place rules were in effect.

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Current Leaderboard: 1 -- John Cook (133/-9); T2 -- Tom Kite and Tom Lehman (134/-8); T4 -- Russ Cochran, Fred Funk & Mark O'Meara (135/-7); T7 -- David Frost, Bernhard Langer, Corey Pavin and Tom Pernice Jr. (136/-6)

John Cook's four-foot eagle putt on the drivable par-4 16th hole gives him a one-stroke lead over Tom Kite and Tom Lehman at the halfway mark of the 2010 Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Cook parred the first 12 holes in Round 2 and was two strokes back after a bogey at the par-4 13th hole. However, he rallied over the final five holes, making birdie at No. 14 before hitting his tee shot to within four-feet of the hole at No. 16. Cook's 69 today was his sixth consecutive round in the 60s in this event and seventh straight this year.

For the second consecutive year, Cook is the halfway leader at this event. Last year after 36 holes at Sonoma Golf Club, Cook was at 14-under 130 and led Tom Watson and Phil Blackmar by three strokes. John Cook's 9-under-par 133 total this year is the highest score in relation to par to lead this event since Tom Kite was on top of the 2006 Charles Schwab Cup Championship after 36 holes with a score of 9-under 135.

• The 36-hole leaders have won 14 of 25 official events this year but Bernhard Langer is the only leader/co-leader at the halfway point of a 72-hole Champions Tour event to win. Langer did so at both the Senior British Open (tied with Corey Pavin) and the U.S. Senior Open (solo) earlier in 2010.

• Since the Charles Schwab Cup Championship became a 72-hole event in 1994, only five of the 16 halfway leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win. However, both Andy Bean (2008) and John Cook (2009) led the last two years after 36-holes and both went on to claim the season-ending event. Since 2006, no player has come from more than one stroke back to win this tournament.

• Mark O'Meara's 6-under 65 was the best second-round score among the 30 players in the field and he made the biggest move upward, jumping 11 places into a T4.

Fred Couples has some work to do on the weekend and might need some help as well if hopes to have any chance at overtaking Bernhard Langer for the 2010 Charles Schwab Cup. Couples is currently T13/-4 through 36 holes and must win the event this week. Should Couples go on to win, Langer (currently T7/-6) would have to finish worse than a two-way tie for fourth for there to be a change in the final standings.

• 60-year-old Tom Kite, the second oldest player in the field this week, is making a strong bid for his 11th TOUR title in the state of California. In his 10 previous appearances at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Kite finished second in both 2004 and 2006. His pair of 67s in the first two rounds at Harding Park is his best start at this event since 2004 when he was 10-under over the first 36 holes at Sonoma Golf Club. Kite's round today was his 21st score in the 60s at this event.

• The field average at the par-71 Harding Park layout was slightly higher for Round 2, 70.233 vs. 69.167 in the opening round. After 14 of 30 competitors posted rounds in the 60s yesterday, there were 11 rounds in the 60s today. The most difficult hole on Friday was the par-4 12th hole (4.267), yielding just one birdie (Joe Ozaki). The par-4 18th hole has played as the hardest for 36 holes (4.167). Just five birdies have been made on the hole and Olin Browne had birdied the hole both days. The easiest hole for the first two rounds was the par-5 9th with an average of 4.333 (-.667). No. 9 has yielded three eagles and 35 birdies.

Stats summary of the leaders:
Player Fairways Hit Greens/Regulation Putts/Round Driving Distance
John Cook (-9) 21/28 75.0% (T8) 27/36 75.0% (T8) 27.5 (T5) 262.0 (T17)
Tom Kite (-8) 23/28 82.1% (T4) 27/36 75.0% (T8) 27.5 (T5) 268.5 (11)
Tom Lehman (-8) 22/28 78.6% (7) 30/36 83.3%( 1) 29.0 (T13) 274.5 (6)

Tom Kite and Fred Funk have made the most birdies through the first two rounds (11) and John Cook and Tom Lehman have both only made one bogey at Harding Park this week.

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