Round 3 notes: SENIOR PLAYERS

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June 30, 2012
Colin Murray, Champions Tour staff

Weather: Cooler temperatures thanks to areas of clouds and scattered showers throughout the region Saturday with afternoon highs reaching the upper 80s. Winds W 5-15 mph with some higher gusts.

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PITTSBURGH -- Mark Calcavecchia closed his bogey-free round of 64 in style with a 50-foot birdie putt on the last hole to post 12-under and share the 54-hole lead with Joe Daley after the third round of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

Calcavecchia has held the 54-hole lead/co-lead on two previous occasions on the Champions Tour. He held a one-stroke lead entering the final round at the 2011 Regions Tradition before a final round 75 left him T5 and he shared the 54-hole lead at the 2011 Senior British Open Championship where he finished runner-up to Russ Cochran.

• In search of his first Champions Tour major championship victory, Calcavecchia has come close on several occasions prior to this week. He has posted four top-five finishes in Champions Tour majors: second at the 2011 Senior British, third at the '11 U.S. Senior Open, T5 at the '11 Regions Tradition and T4 at the '10 Regions Tradition.

• In two previous starts at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS, Calcavecchia finished 12th in 2011 and withdrew in 2010.

• Calcavecchia claimed his second Champions Tour victory last week at the Montreal Championship. The last player to win in back-to-back events was Michael Allen earlier this year at the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am and the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (team event). The last player to win back-to-back individual events was John Cook (2010 Charles Schwab Cup Championship, 2011 Mitsubishi Electric Championship). The last player to win back-to-back events in the same calendar year was Russ Cochran in 2010 (Posco E&C Songdo Championship, SAS Championship).

• Daley is poised for the best finish of his career on the Champions Tour this week as he enters the final round tied with Calcavecchia for the lead at 12-under following a 68 in the third round. Prior to this week,

• Daley's best position on the Champions Tour at the end of any round was T7 after the first round of the Allianz Championship earlier this year. His best finish on the Champions Tour came last month when he posted a T4 at the Senior PGA Championship.

• Daley does have experience with a 54-hole lead/co-lead on the Web.com Tour. He held the 54-hole lead/co-lead twice at the 1997 Nike Louisiana Open (Won) and 2002 Northeast Pennsylvania Classic (T6).

• Should he go on to win the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS, Daley would become the seventh player to claim their first Champions Tour victory at this event and the ninth to win in their first appearance. Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986), Jim Albus (1991), Dave Stockton (1992), Stewart Ginn (2002), Craig Stadler (2003) and Mark James (2004) all won their first Champions Tour event at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS. Players who won in their first appearance are: Miller Barber (1983), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986), Jack Nicklaus (1990), Jim Albus (1991), Dave Stockton (1992), Craig Stadler (2003), Mark James (2004) and Peter Jacobsen (2005).

• Currently with no status, a victory would ensure Daley fully-exempt status on the Champions Tour through July 1, 2013. The $405,000 first place check would also go a long way to solidifying his place inside the top 30 on the final 2012 Champions Tour money list, which would earn him fully-exempt status through the 2013 season.

• Entering the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS, Daley's best finish in 10 career starts on the Champions Tour was a T4 last month at the Senior PGA Championship, his last start.

TOUGH CROWD
Daley among champions
Pos. Player PGA TOUR wins Majors Champions Tour wins Majors
T1 Mark Calcavecchia 13 1 2 0
T1 Joe Daley 0 0 0 0
T3 Fred Couples 15 1 7 1
T3 Tom Lehman 5 1 6 3

• While Daley is in search of his first Champions Tour victory, the other three players joining him in the top-four positions on the leaderboard have combined for 33 PGA TOUR victories (three majors) and 15 Champions Tour victories (four majors). See table at right.

• The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS 17 times in the 29-year history of the event, including the last two (Mark O'Meara -- 2010, Fred Couples -- 2011).

• The largest come-from-behind victory after 54-holes at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS was six strokes by Raymond Floyd in 2000 at TPC Michigan.

• The lowest 54-hole score in the 29-years history of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS is 19-under 197 by Jack Nicklaus in 1990 at Dearborn CC.

• After making 12 birdies through the course of the first two rounds, Fred Couples made only three in the third round en route to an even-par 70 and is T3 at 11-under. Couples is looking to join Arnold Palmer (1984-1985) as the only back-to-back winners of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS. Should he go on to victory he would also become the first player to win THE PLAYERS (1984 and 1996) and the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS more than once.

• The third round of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS marked Couples' 100th round on the Champions Tour. In those 100 rounds, Couples has carded sub-70 scores 71 times.

• With today's 66, Tom Lehman extends his streak of rounds in the 60s to 11, which equals the third-longest streak of sub-70 rounds in Champions Tour history. The longest is Hale Irwin's 13 in 1999. Couples had 12 in 2010.

• Lehman successfully defended his Regions Tradition title this month and will look to become the first player since Gil Morgan in 1998 to win the Regions Tradition and the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS in the same season.

Fred Funk climbed into contention with a 6-under 64 in the third round and is 9-under, solo 6th entering the final round. The 64 is Funk's lowest round since he carded his career-low round on the Champions Tour of 62 in the final round of the 2011 Greater Hickory Classic.

• The medalist at the 2011 Champions Tour Q-School, Jeff Freeman carded a 65 in the third round and is 10-under, solo 5th. Freeman is in line for his best finish on the Champions Tour in just his fifth start. He finished T7 earlier this month at the Principal Charity Classic.

• The winner of the last 22 tournaments on the Champions Tour has come from the final group on Sunday. The last winner not to play in the final grouping was Jeff Sluman at the 2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. The final grouping Sunday at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS will be Calcavecchia, Daley and Couples.

• The top-seven players on the leaderboard through three rounds are all from the United States. Americans have won the last seven installments of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS. The last player born outside of the United States to claim this event was Englishman Mark James in 2004 at TPC Michigan. Englishman Roger Chapman is T8 through three rounds. Only four players born outside of the United States have won the

• Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS in the 29-year history of the event (Chi Chi Rodriguez -- 1986, Gary Player --1987, Stewart Ginn -- 2002 and Mark James -- 2004).

Kenny Perry made a hole-in-on one on the 185-yard par-3 No. 17 with a 6-iron. The ace is the 12th hole-in-on in Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS history and the first since 2006 when Des Smyth made a hole-in-one on No. 4 in the third round at TPC Michigan.

• The hole-in-one is the sixth of Perry's PGA TOUR career and first on the Champions Tour.

Kirk Triplett (71-69-65 -- 205, T12) made the first eagle of the week at the 344-yard par-4 No. 15 when he holed a 50-yard wedge from the fairway. Jeff Freeman followed Triplett with an eagle of his own at No. 15, holing a 60-degree wedge from 58 yards.

• D.A. Weibring, winner of the 2009 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS, withdrew on the fifth hole of the third round with a heel injury.

• Bogey-free rounds Saturday (5): Calcavecchia (64), Lehman (66), Chapman (66), Jay Haas (66) and Jim Carter (67).

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