Rd. 2 notes: Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends

April 21, 2012
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: Partly cloudy with high temperatures in the upper 70s. Winds were from the SSW at 5-15 mph.

Legends Leaderboard: T1) Brad Bryant/Tom Purtzer/60-65--125 (-19), David Frost/Michael Allen/62-63--125 (-19); T3) Gil Morgan/Tom Kite/65-61--126 (-18), Jeff Sluman/Brad Faxon/62-64--126 (-18), Bobby Clampett/Andy North/64-62?126 (-18), Fred Couples/Jay Haas/63-63--126 (-18) .


Final Raphael Results (Top 5): 1 -- Des Smyth/Mark James/64-61--125 (-19); T2) Denis Watson/Steve Jones/65-61--126 (-18), Mark McCumber/Wayne Grady/65-61--126 (-18); 4) Gary Koch/Roger Maltbie/64-65--129 (-15); 5) Bob Murphy/Jim Colbert/67-64--131 (-13).

Brad Bryant and his partner Tom Purtzer now share the lead after 36 holes of the 54-hole Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf. The pair held a one-stroke lead after the opening round, but David Frost and Michael Allen picked up two strokes on Purtzer and Bryant with a 9-under-par 63 on Saturday to move into a tie at 19-under-par 125. Ten other teams are within two shots of the co-leaders heading into Sunday's final round. A trio of teams trail by just one stroke -- Gil Morgan/Tom Kite, Bobby Clampett/Andy North and Fred Couples/Jay Haas.

• In the final round of the Raphael Division competition, defending champions Des Smyth and partner Mark James defended their title with an exciting one-stroke victory over the teams of Denis Watson/Steve Jones and Mark McCumber/Wayne Grady. James led his team to the win when he drained a 45-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. It came moments after Jones had made an eagle from the fairway on the par-4 18th to get his team into a three-way tie for the lead. The victory earned James and Smyth $60,000 each in the unofficial event.

• When James and Smyth defended their Raphael Division title on Saturday, they became the second team this week to defend their 2011 crowns. Earlier in the week Gibby Gilbert and J.C. Snead birdied the first playoff hole to defend their Demaret Division title over Frank Beard and Larry Ziegler.

• Jones wasn't the only player to eagle No. 18. Later in the day Bobby Clampett holed his shot from the fairway on the fly to move him and his teammate, Andy North, within one stroke of the lead in the Legends Division. Clampett was a late replacement in the field with North after Tom Watson withdrew with an arm injury earlier in the week.

• Eagles were scarce in Saturday's second round. After the competitors recorded nine on Friday in the Legends Division, there were just two on Saturday. In addition to Clampett, the team of Bill Glasson/Mark Brooks had one on No. 4.

• The winners of the Legends Division on Sunday will receive $230,000 and 230 points each in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. Allen, who is currently T1 with Frost, has a great chance to pad his lead in the race with a good finish. He currently leads with 620 points, 157 ahead of Bernhard Langer. Kenny Perry is third with 381 points followed by Corey Pavin (365) and Peter Senior (315).

• Should Morgan and his partner Kite prevail on Sunday, Morgan would become the oldest winner of a Champions Tour event at 65 years, six months and 28 days. The late Mike Fetchick currently holds that honor when he won the Hilton Head Seniors Invitational in 1985 on his 63rd birthday. Morgan and Kite are currently T3 at 18-under-par 126.

• Hole No. 6 remained the most difficult with an average score of 3.971 (-.029). There were just five birdies on Saturday. However, the most difficult to birdie on Saturday was No. 16, the second-hardest hole. Only four teams made birdies on that hole.

• In the last three years, the second-round leaders have failed to go on to win the event. The last team to lead after two rounds and win the event was North and Watson in 2008.

• Of the top six teams currently on the leaderboard, five of the six are 10 under on the back nine through the first two rounds. The only one to not finish 10 under was co-leaders Frost and Allen, who are 7-under-par on their back nines.

Olin Browne and his partner Steve Pate have made birdies on all eight par-5 holes in the first two rounds. They are the only two to do that.

• Mark McCumber and Wayne Grady did not win the Raphael Division title (they finished T2), but they turned in a yeoman effort on their front nine to get themselves into contention. They fashioned a 9-under-par 27 on the front nine on their way to an 11-under-par 61. The round included seven birdies and an eagle on the front nine.