Round 3 Notebook: Senior British Open

July 24, 2010
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

Weather: Mostly cloudy with light winds. Highs were in the low 60s with winds from the SSW at 8-12 mph.

Current Leaderboard: 1 -- Bernhard Langer (-6); 2 -- Corey Pavin (-3); T3 -- Jay Don Blake/Russ Cochran/Fred Funk/Jay Haas/Larry Mize/Ian Woosnam (-3); T9 -- Carl Mason/Gary Hallberg (-1).

• The winner of this event will certainly get a boost in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race, with this being the first of three major championships in the next four tournaments offering double points. The winner and top-10 finishers in all the major championships will receive double points. The champion will receive 631 points based on the first-place check of $315,600. The Charles Schwab Cup is designed to recognize the Champions Tour's leading player. The program rewards both top finishes and week-in/week-out consistency at all official/Charles Schwab Cup events.

Bernhard Langer owns 10 career wins in just 56 starts on the Champions Tour but will be bidding for his first major championship on the Tour on Sunday. His best finish in a major championship is a solo second at the 2008 Senior PGA Championship.

• In addition to a first-place check for $315,600 and 631 Charles Schwab Cup points, the winner will also receive a berth in next year's British Open at Royal St. Georges Golf Club in Sandwich.

• Should Langer prevail on Sunday he would move in front of Fred Couples in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. Couples, who is not playing in this event, leads with 1,433 points, but Langer could pick up 631 points which would move him from fourth place to first with 1,449, a margin of just 16 points going to next week's U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee.

• Langer is a combined 8-under-par on the front nine and is 2-over-par on the back nine after 54 holes.

• Langer is bidding to become the first non-American player to win this tournament since Noboru Sugai did so in 2002 when it was an unofficial tournament.

• One of the day's best turnarounds was turned in by Jay Don Blake. After opening with a double bogey at No. 1 and a bogey at No. 4 to fall back to 2-over-par, Blake shot an impressive 4-under-par on the back nine which included birdies on three of his final four holes. He'll begin tomorrow's final round T3, four behind Bernhard Langer.

• So far in 2010, seven of the 13 wins have been posted by the second/third round leader or co-leader.

• Chien-soon Lu helped move himself up the leaderboard on Saturday when he recorded two eagles during his third round. Lu eagled Nos. 6 and 14. Lu also made an eagle on No. 14 on Friday. Lu had only made three eagles in his previous eight starts this year.

Mark Calcavecchia started the day just two strokes behind co-leaders Corey Pavin and Bernhard Langer and stood at 2-under-par heading to No. 18. However, disaster struck for the former British Open winner on the final hole as he took a quadruple bogey to drop eight strokes off the pace.

• Although he sits five strokes behind after 54 holes, a win by England's Carl Mason would vault him to the top spot on the European Senior Tour's all-time victory list with 24. Mason currently shares the lead with fellow Englishman Tommy Horton.

• The low round of the day was turned in by Fred Funk, who shot a 4-under-par 67. Despite fairly placid conditions on Saturday, only seven players finished with rounds in the 60s.

• Close finishes have become the norm in this tournament since it became an official event in 2003. There have been five playoffs, and the two others were decided by one stroke. Defending champion Loren Roberts owns two wins in playoffs (2006 and 2009) as does Tom Watson (2003 and 2005). Overall, there have been nine playoffs in the 23-year history of the tournament.

• The previous 23 Senior British Open Championships have been won by players from nine different countries. England's Neil Coles (1987), South Africans Gary Player (1988, 1990 and 1997), Bob Verwey (1991) and John Fourie (1992), New Zealand's Sir Bob Charles (1989 and 1993), Americans Tom Watson (2003, 2005 and 2007), Tom Wargo (1994), Pete Oakley (2004), Loren Roberts (2006 and 2009) and Bruce Vaughan (2008). Other winners were Scotland's Brian Barnes (1995-96), Brian Huggett of Wales (1998), Christy O'Connor, Jr. of Ireland (1999-2000), Australian Ian Stanley (2001) and Japan's Noboru Sugai (2002).

• Hole Nos. 17, 18 and 12 ranked one-two-three in terms of difficulty on Saturday and Nos. 18 and 12 yielded just two birdies apiece. Fred Funk and Michael Allen had birdies at No. 18 and Larry Mize and Gary Hallberg had them at No. 12.

• Hole No. 12 remains the most difficult with an average score of 4.518. In fact, seven of the most difficult holes are on the back nine at the Championship course at Carnoustie.

• Defending champion Loren Roberts posted a third-round 75 and is T27.