Price takes lead at Principal Charity Classic, but six trail by one

May 31, 2008
PGA TOUR staff

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- It didn't take Nick Price long to vault himself back into position for his first Champions Tour victory.

Inside the Numbers
Price thru 36 Holes
Category Total Rank
Eagles 0 N/A
Birdies 8 T8
Pars 26 T17
Bogeys 2 T71
Driving Accuracy 71.4% T52
Driving Distance 284.3 yds. 17
Greens in Regulation 80.6% T3
Putts per Round 29.0 T24
Sand Saves 0.0% T27

Price, who blew a two-shot lead in the final round of the FedEx Kinko's Classic in early May, shot a 5-under 66 Saturday to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Principal Charity Classic.

Price will enter Sunday's final round at Glen Oaks Country Club with a 6-under 136 total. Six players, including Bobby Wadkins and Mark McNulty, were one shot back.

Joey Sindelar and Tom Purtzer shot even-par 71s and were two shots back at 4-under. Defending champion Jay Haas, who last week won the Senior PGA Championship, shot a 3-under 68 and also was at 138.

Eleven players were within two strokes of Price entering Sunday. Haas, however, was the only one currently in the top 10 on the Champions Tour money list.

Price, a former British Open and PGA Championship winner, will enter the final round with the lead for the second time in three events. His last round with the edge turned into a mess, though. Price double-bogeyed the 15th and 16th holes at The Hills in Austin, Texas, and finished one shot behind winner Denis Watson.

Despite that agonizing back nine in Austin, Price seems to have found his game in his second season on the senior circuit. He's finished in the top 10 in five of his last six events, the only exception being when he withdrew from the Senior PGA during the second round because of back trouble.

"My game wasn't in good shape when I came out here last year," Price said. "I needed to work on some things and have a little more continuity in my game, and I think that's all that's happened."

Price entered the day four shots off the lead, but he got off to a hot start with birdies on his first three holes. After a bogey on No. 5, Price scored birdies on two straight par 5s and capped his round with a birdie on No. 17, which is considered the toughest hole at Glen Oaks.

Price, along with Bob Gilder and Mark O'Meara, shot the lowest round of the day.

"I just stayed patient, because I was looking at the scoreboard and no one was really shooting lights out today," Price said. "I just played smart coming in. I didn't really take any chances."

Gilder bounced back from an opening-round 73 with a 5-under 66 on Saturday, and O'Meara jumped from 47th to a tie for eighth with his 66.

Loren Roberts, who finished second at Glen Oaks in 2006, shot a 1-over 72 and was at 2-under 140. Scott Hoch, currently third on the money list, shot a 70 and was at 1 under for the tournament.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.