Rd. 2 Notes: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

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March 24, 2012
Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR Staff

Weather: Mostly sunny on Saturday with high temperatures in the upper-70s and winds from the NW swirling at 5-15 mph. The first round resumed at 8:07 a.m. and was completed at 10:30 a.m. Lift, clean and place rules were again in effect for the second round.

Jeff Sluman 69-64--133 (-11)
Fred Couples 63-70--133 (-11)
Jim Thorpe 70-65--135 (-9)
Bobby Clampett 67-69--136 (-8)
John Huston 67-69--136 (-8)
Chien Soon Lu 67-69--136 (-8)

• Round 2 Leaderboard:

Player Fred Couples (-11) Jeff Sluman (-11) Jim Thorpe (-9)
Last Win 2011 AT&T Championship 2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach 2007 Charles Schwab Cup Championship (67 starts)
Best 2012 Champions Tour Finish T8Toshiba Classic T5Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai T22-Toshiba Classic
Champions Tour Wins 6, including a pair of titles in 2011Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, AT&T Championship. 4, including three Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach titles 13, including three Charles Schwab Cup Championships
PGA TOUR Wins 15, including the 1992 Masters 6, including the 1988 PGA Championship 3, with a pair of victories at the Seiko Tucson Match Play Championship
Did You Know? Has played in the final grouping 10 times before tomorrow and won all six of his Champions Tour titles from this position. Finished T2 at the 2011 MGRC ... Has played in the final grouping 8 times previously but won from this position only once (2008 Bank of America Champ) Plays in the final grouping for the first time since the 2008 Turtle Bay Championship (T2)... At 63 yrs, 1 mo., 23 days, hes trying to become the CT oldest winner.

Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman are tied for the lead after 36 holes of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Sluman's bogey-free 8-under 64 was the low second-round score and included a run of four birdies over his final five holes. Couples, who opened with a course-record 63, shot 70 in the afternoon. He struggled in the middle part of the round with three bogeys (Nos. 7, 10, 11) but rallied to tie Sluman for the top spot with birdies on four of his last seven holes.

Miscellaneous Notes

• The second-round leader/co-leader has gone on to victory at both of the previous two Mississippi Gulf Resort Classics. Last year, Tom Lehman (-13) led Jeff Sluman by a stroke before going on to win by four strokes. In 2010, David Eger (-8) was tied for the 36-hole lead and prevailed by one over Tommy Armour III. Thus far in 2012 on the Champions Tour, three of the four 36-hole leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win.

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• The winner of tomorrow's Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic will earn 240 Charles Schwab Cup points. Jeff Sluman enters the final round with 128 Schwab Cup points this season while Fred Couples has 48 points in 2012. Bernhard Langer is the current Schwab Cup leader with 387 points but is well back after 36 holes this week. At the end of the official season, the player earning the most Schwab Cup points will receive a $1 million payout.

• Will tomorrow's champion come from the final grouping? For the last 14 events on the Champions Tour, the tournament winner has come out of the last group on Sunday. The last time the winner was not in the last group was at the 2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach when Jeff Sluman was in the third-to-last grouping.

• Couples' six straight birdies to close out his opening round this morning was the best birdie streak on the Champions Tour in 2012. His 1st-round score of 9-under 63 was an 18-hole tournament record at Fallen Oak, surpassing the 64 Tom Lehman posted in the 2nd round at last year's event. The previous tournament low in an opening round was 66 by Jeff Sluman last year. Sluman's 64 on Saturday equaled Lehman's number a year ago on Saturday as the best second-round score in event history.

• Thorpe's 7-under 65 today was his best round on the Champions Tour since posting 65 on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at the Boeing Classic.

• Defending champion Tom Lehman is T29 through 36 holes, 10 strokes back of the leaders. When he defended his title in 2011, David Eger finished T31.

• Couples has made the most birdies through the first two rounds (16) and Michael Allen has the fewest bogeys (1) after 36 holes.

• Bogey-free Rounds:

R1 (3): Tom Pernice, Jr. (64), Michael Allen (68), Brad Bryant (68) R2 (2): Jeff Sluman (64), Larry Nelson (69)

  Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative 2011 Cumulative
Friday 35.864 35.642 71.506 ----------- 72.456
Saturday 36.062 36.333 72.395 71.951 71.221

• Scoring Averages:

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