By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO – Tom Lehman is still projected to win the Schwab Cup, but Round 2 of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship showed it won’t be a walkover.
Mark Calcavecchia shot 68 at TPC Harding Park, tied for the low round of the day, to climb into a tie for fourth at 3 under behind Michael Allen, Fred Couples, David Frost.
Calcavecchia is second in Schwab Cup points and needs a combination of a win and a Lehman T2 or worse, or a runner-up with Lehman at T12 or worse.
Lehman is tied for 11th after a second-round 72. Calcavecchia said he’s not noticing – yet.
“He’s hanging around. He’ll be there at the end,” Calcavecchia said. “I’m not going to pay attention to him or David Frost or anybody else. There’s two rounds left. We’ll see what happens with the weather.”
Calcavecchia’s first two rounds have been an adventure. Thursday he shot a 71 that he said could have been a 75 or 76, were it not for a good putter. Friday’s 68, which included a holeout eagle, he said could have been a 65 had that same putter returned.
Friday he put a new Ping G20 driver in his bag, overnighted from the company after the first round. On the 10th tee Thursday he hit a bizarre drive that was heading deep into the parking lot before hitting a tree.
“I thought the head was loose, but it’s probably my head that’s loose,” Calcavecchia said to laughter in the media center. “Threw a new one in the bag and drove it great.”
The other three players who came into the week mathematically eligible to take the Schwab Cup with a win don’t appear likely to pull it off. Peter Senior (third in points) is tied for 24th at 5 over, John Cook (fourth) is tied for 21st at 4 over and Russ Cochran (fifth) is tied for 14th at 1 over.
Many more birdies are available today at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship under blue skies and temperatures near 60 degrees. David Frost is taking advantage, surging into the lead at 5 under with a round that includes four birdies in a five-hole span from the eighth through 12th holes. He bogeyed the 13th, however.
Bernhard Langer, the 2010 Schwab Cup winner, is at 4 under along with Kenny Perry at TPC Harding Park.
Jay Haas double bogeyed the 12th to fall back to 3 under; he had led earlier in the day. Playing partner Fred Couples, who also shared the first round lead with Haas, is 1 over on the day. He began his second round with a double bogey at the first and has one birdie since then.
Points leader Tom Lehman is tied for 10th, even for his second round. Mark Calcavecchia, second in points, shot 68 but let a few get away late in the round. He’s at 3 under and tied for fourth, though he needs to finish in the top two to have any shot at stealing the points title from Lehman.
SAN FRANCISCO – There may be a race for the Charles Schwab Cup after all.
Tom Lehman, who came into the Charles Schwab Cup Championship with a 382-point lead, was right where he needed to be after Round 1, tied for fifth with his pursuers all behind. But the points leader double bogeyed the first hole Friday. He birdied the next, but sits at even par for the tournament, tied for 13th.
His closest pursuer in the points, Mark Calcavecchia, is 4 under for the day and the tournament, making three birdies and an eagle on the par-4 seventh hole on his front nine, offset by one bogey. He’s tied for the lead with Jay Haas.
Calcavecchia can win the Schwab Cup if he wins the event and Lehman finishes T2 or worse. He can also win by finishing second if Lehman finishes T12 or worse.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO – Coming into the Champions Tour’s final event, it was going to take a minor miracle for Tom Lehman to be beat in the race for the Schwab Cup.
Through one round at TPC Harding Park, that looks unlikely.
Four pursuers have to essentially win the event and hope Lehman falters, and Thursday’s play showed that the points leader isn’t going anywhere. Lehman shot 1-under 70, one of just seven players in red numbers on a cold, windy and rainy Bay Area day. He’s two shots back of leaders Fred Couples and Jay Haas, who shot 68s.
Mark Calcavecchia and Peter Senior, second and third in the points race, shot even-par 71s. Russ Cochran, fifth in points, shot 74.
Perhaps most surprising, two-time defending champion John Cook (fourth in points) shot 73. In winning this event the previous two years, Cook shot eight straight rounds in the 60s. Over those two years he made four bogeys in all – he had four bogeys in his first six holes on Thursday.
Lehman came into the week leading by 382 points over Calcavecchia. His projected lead after Round 1 is 475 points over Calcavecchia.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Fred Couples’ notoriously bad back, contrary to what many would believe, isn’t necessarily susceptible to cold weather.
“I like it,” he said Wednesday at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. “I’ve said this every single time someone asks me. I’m stiff all the time. Why not let (the field) be stiff too if it’s 45 or 50 degrees?”
In the first round at TPC Harding Park, it’s plenty cold enough, with intermittent wind and rain. And look who’s atop the leaderboard – Couples, at 5 under through 10 holes, three shots ahead of Kenny Perry.
Tom Lehman, the leader in the season-long points race, is 1 under through eight holes and tied for fifth. None of the four other players in contention for the $1 million annuity are making a move so far – Mark Calcavecchia is 1 over, Peter Senior is even and John Cook, the two-time defending champion, is near the bottom of the leaderboard at 4 over through nine. He bogeyed four of his first six holes.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO – Mark Calcavecchia had an interesting costume for Halloween earlier this week – Rickie Fowler.
A Champions Tour regular, not exactly slim, dressing up as the pencil-thin 22-year-old? Sure.
“It was a funny, old, fat Rickie Fowler, yeah,” Calcavecchia said Wednesday at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. “Yeah, I looked all right.”
Calcavecchia and his wife, Brenda, and a friend came up with the idea when visiting a golf store in Columbus, Ohio, a few months ago. There was a display of Fowler’s Puma-brand gear, and Calc tried on one of the trademark flat-brimmed hats.
“They started laughing at me and they go, ‘you ought to be Rickie Fowler for Halloween,’” Calcavecchia said. “And of course Brenda went as Natalie Gulbis, so that was pretty funny too.”
So Calc went with a wig, orange hat, orange shirt and, just because he couldn’t find any more orange, white pants.
But what did Fowler dress up as at the same Florida party?
“No one could really figure it out,” Calcavecchia said. “He looked like a white Steve Urkel, kind of." I don’t know if he was supposed to be a nerd or what, but … yeah, a nerd.”
One of the many beauties of the British Open is that you can walk up to the gate and purchase a ticket. No ordering tickets years ahead of time. No lotteries. No waiting lists.
Converted into U.S. dollars, daily tickets during the four rounds of this year’s championship cost $91.84 for adults, $61.88 for those aged 65 and older and $38.27 for young adults aged 16-21. Anyone under the age of 16 gets in free.
There has been a steady stream of fans entering the grounds all morning and it’s sure to increase as the leaders begin their rounds. The final group of Louis Oosthuizen and Mark Calcavecchia are do to tee off at 4:40 p.m. local time (11:40 a.m. ET). – Helen Ross
It was the ultimate grind.
Which Tiger Woods polished off with, perhaps, the shot of the day.
That Tiger settled for a birdie-3? He wanted the two, but the twentysomething-foot eagle didn't cooperate and he finished off his second-round 73 -- he called it one of his best rounds of the year -- just after the horn sounded to end play. The round -- now he gets to sleep in Saturday morning -- leaves him eight shots behind leader Louis Oosthuizen going into the weekend.
"It was very difficult out there,'' Woods said. " The ball was oscillating on the fairways. A couple times I backed off. I thought it might move. Rosey (Justin Rose) hit one fat on 3 because he thought it was moving, but it was just oscillating pretty hard. So it was tough out there. You just had to deal with it, and again, just be very patient.''
Woods teed off in the gusting winds and opened the day with two quick bogeys. And that 65-minute wind delay which came when Woods, Rose and Camilo Villegas were playing the first hole.
"We thought it might give us a break, and we might come out there with less wind and have a chance at posting some pretty good numbers; that wasn't the case,'' Woods said. "It was blowing just as hard when we came back out, especially when we got out towards the loop. They were saying it's a hole‑by‑hole scenario. They could call it at any time, but they didn't, even though it was blowing pretty good.
" . . . It was a tough day for everybody out there. Unless you timed the wind just right with your tee times, you were going to get some pretty good wind and usually into your face.''
Woods, who has won the last two Opens played at St. Andrews and three in all, was asked if this was comparable to the third round at Muirfield in 2002 when he shot 81. He said no. That was a rainy and windy day.
"You just have to go out there and deal with it,'' he said, "whether you're on the good end of the draw or not the good end, you just have to go out there and play and gut it out.''
He admitted Oosthuizen and the others who teed off the morning got the best of the conditions, just like Woods and the other morning players did Thursday.
"(Oosthuizen) got it 16 holes downwind,'' Woods said. " We didn't quite get that out there. That's just the way it goes. If you get a good break you have to capitalize on it. He certainly did. For everyone else, we had to grind it out, gut it out. You can have good shots and end up in bad shots, and hit some bad shots and end up in awful spots, it's just that kind of day.''
Woods came into the week searching for consistency, especially on the greens. He switched to the Nike Method putter -- at least for the week -- to deal with these greens. And his game overall?
"I hit the ball well today, a lot of long lag putts,'' he said. "Lag putts were very difficult out there, moving all over the place. Putter was dancing all over the place on the backswing. You had to get anchored somehow and try and stay stable.''
Now Woods heads into the weekend chasing Oosthuizen and Mark Calcavecchia, who is second, five shots off the lead.
"I'm not exactly where I want to be,'' Woods said. "I'm not 12‑under par, but I'm at 4‑under, I'm eight back, and today was a day I could have easily shot myself out of the tournament, especially the start I got off to, but I put it back together again and pieced together a pretty good round.'' -- Melanie Hauser
Rory McIlroy probably didn’t think it would be this hard.
Following up a really low round with another is never easy. Add in winds gusting to 35 mph or so -- blowing across a wide-open golf course that resembles a moonscape – and the challenge is multiplied.
McIlroy, who tied the major championship record with a sizzling 63 on Friday, has just made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch and dropped to 6 under for the tournament. That means Louis Oosthuizen’s lead at 12 under is now five strokes.
His nearest challenger? None other than Mark Calcavecchia, who turned 50 last month, and won the British Open in 1989 at Royal Troon. Calcavecchia, like Oosthuizen, played in the morning half of the draw and shot 67. – Helen Ross
Mark Calcavecchia isn’t the only 50-year-old in contention at St. Andrews right now. Tom Lehman, who won this tournament in 1996 and tied for fourth in 2000 here at St. Andrews, is 5 under for the week and in the top 10 (for now) after a 68 earlier.
Should Calcavecchia or Lehman go on to win, either one of them
would become golf’s oldest winner of a mjaor championship.
Here is a look at the 10 oldest major winners:
Julius Boros: 48 years, 4 months, 18 days 1968 PGA
Tom Morris Sr.: 46 years, 3 months, 9 days 1867 Open Championship
Jack Nicklaus: 46 years, 2 months, 23 days 1986 Masters
Jerry Barber: 45 years, 3 months, 6 days 1961 PGA Championship
Hale Irwin: 45 years, 15 days 1990 U.S. Open
Lee Trevino: 44 years, 8 months, 18 days 1984 PGA Championship
Roberto de Vicenzo: 44 years, 3 months, 3 days 1967 Open Championship
Raymond Floyd: 43 years, 9 months, 11 days 1986 U.S. Open
Ted Ray: 43 years, 4 months, 16 days 1920 U.S. Open
Julius Boros: 43 years, 3 months, 20 days 1963 U.S. Open