Round 2 Notebook: 3M Championship

August 06, 2011
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: A mix of sun and clouds with highs in the low-80s with winds from the SSE at 5-10 mph with higher gusts in the afternoon. A thunderstorm passed through the area in the afternoon, causing a suspension of play from 2:34-4:30 p.m. The course received .36 inches of rain.


Current Leaderboard: T1 -- Peter Senior & John Huston/(132/-12); 3 -- Jay Haas /(133/-11); T4 -- Mark Calcavecchia & Tom Lehman/(134/-10); T6 -- Tommy Armour III, Nick Price, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton & Kenny Perry/(136/-8).

John Huston and Peter Senior share the lead after two rounds of the 19th annual 3M Championship. Senior fired a 5-under-par 67, while Huston finished with a 4-under-par 68. Play in the 54-hole event was suspended for nearly two hours midway through the afternoon when thunderstorms passed through the area, dropping .36 inches of rain on the course which had already received over two inches earlier in the week. Jay Haas trails Huston and Senior by just one stroke and Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Lehman share fourth place, two behind.

John Huston is bidding for his second win in just eight starts on the Champions Tour. He claimed the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in late June in upstate New York in just his third start on this circuit.

Peter Senior has yet to win in 39 starts on the Champions Tour. He nearly posted his first win earlier this year when he lost in a two-hole playoff at the Regions Tradition with Tom Lehman and he was tied for second a year earlier at the Regions Charity Classic. The Australian owns 27 victories worldwide, including 19 in his native Australia, four on the European Tour and three in Japan.

Jay Haas hopes to end a winless streak of 41 events when he begins play on Sunday. Haas, who is currently third, one stroke behind the leaders, posted the last of his 14 Champions Tour victories at the 2009 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in Maryland.

• As a point of reference, the largest come-from-behind wins in tournament history took place in 1998 and 2006. In 1998, Leonard Thompson came from three strokes back in the rain-shortened event at Bunker Hills to defeat Isao Aoki in a playoff, while David Edwards also came from three back to win by two over Brad Bryant and Craig Stadler at the TPC Twin Cities.

• In the previous 18 3M Championship, players leading or co-leading after Saturday's round have won 11 times, including nine of the last 14 years in Minnesota. The exceptions came in 2009 (Nick Price), 2006 (Curtis Strange), 2003 and 2004 (Tom Purtzer) and 2001 (Hale Irwin and Jose Maria Canizares).

Steve Lowery shaved seven strokes off his opening-round total, shooting a second-round 66 on Saturday and shared honors for the day's low round with David Peoples, Loren Roberts and Craig Stadler.

• Nick Price and Mark O'Meara remain bogey free after 36 holes. Last year's champion David Frost and Jeff Sluman (tied for sixth place) each finished the event without a bogey.

• It was nearly 40 years ago today (8/6/72) that Gary Player hit is "miracle" 9-iron from an almost impossible position that earned him his second PGA Championship. After bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15, Player pushed his tee shot far to the right on the following hole. Unable to see the flag, Player hit his 9-iron over a willow tree and pond and within four feet of the hole. Player ended up making birdie and went on to a two-stroke victory at Oakland Hills CC over Tommy Aaron and Jim Jamieson.

• The scoring average went up nearly a stroke over Friday's average as the field averaged 71.025 for the day. Friday's average was 70.087. There were 29 rounds in the 60s compared to 38 on Friday and 45 sub-par rounds, eight fewer than Friday.

Tom Purtzer has made an eagle on No. 18 in each of the first two rounds.