Round 3 notes: Nature Valley First Tee Open

July 07, 2012
Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff

• Sixty-two year-old Tom Kite and 57-year-old Brad Bryant share the 36-hole lead at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach marking the first time since 2008 that multiple players are tied for the top spot after two rounds at this event. It's also the first time it's happened on the 2012 Champions Tour since the Insperity Championship. Kite and Bryant are tied at 8-under-par 136, the highest 36-hole total in the nine-year history of the event. Bryant shot 67 at Del Monte. He holed a wedge from 66 yards at the par-4 2nd hole and then ended his round by chipping in for birdie from 25 feet at the par-5 9th. Kite carded 69 and was flawless on the day until three-putting from the back of the 18th green, lipping out from four feet with his par effort. His round was highlighted when he holed a bunker shot for birdie at the par-4 10th at Pebble Beach.

• Until today, Tom Kite had not been tied for the lead going into the final round since the 2007 AT&T Championship (T3). Brad Bryant was last tied for a 36-hole lead in a three-round Champions Tour event at the 2010 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic (T9)

• Second-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win five times in the previous eight Nature Valley First Tee Opens at Pebble Beach -- Craig Stadler (2004), Hale Irwin (2005), Gil Morgan (2007), Jeff Sluman (2008) and Ted Schulz (2010).

• Thirty-six hole leaders have gone on to win eight of the previous 10 three-round events on the 2012 Champions Tour with Jay Haas the last to do so at the Principal Charity Classic. The last 23 winners on the Champions Tour have come from the final grouping on Sunday. The last time the winner did not come out of the last grouping was at this event in 2011 when Jeff Sluman was in the third-to-last grouping.

• The winner of Sunday's event will receive 255 Charles Schwab Cup points and will also earn a check for $255,000. Brad Bryant, currently 10th in the Schwab Cup rankings, could make a big move up the yearly standings should he win tomorrow. Tom Lehman, the current Charles Schwab Cup leader, is idle this week while Michael Allen (T27), needs a low round tomorrow to earn points and cut into Lehman's 256-point lead. At the end of the official season, the player earning the most Charles Schwab Cup points will receive a $1 million payout and will collect the Charles Schwab Cup.

• The cut in the First Tee Junior Pro-Am fell at 8-under-par 136 and there were no playoffs in determining the 23 teams that made it to Sunday's final rounds. Steve Pate and his junior partner Cameron Champ (The First Tee of Greater Sacramento) are at 15-under 129 in the better-ball team competition and lead by one stroke over Kit Carson and his professional Hal Sutton and also Joshua Pisarri (The First Tee of Naples Collier) and his pro partner Brad Bryant.

Player Tom Kite (-8) Brad Bryant (-8)
Last Time In Final Grouping (stroke-play event) 2009 Senior PGA Championship (T14) 2012 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (T7)
2012 Top-10s 1, T2 Toshiba Classic 8, 2nd Montreal Championship
Champions Tour Wins 10, last at the 2008 Boeing Classic (90 Champions Tour events) 4, last at 2007 U.S. Senior Open (110 Champions Tour events)
PGA TOUR Wins 19, including the 1983 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, 1992 U.S. Open 11995 Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic
Residence Austin, Texas Lakeland, Fla.
Did You Know? Seeking to become the third oldest winner in Champions history (62 years, 6 months, 29 days) and could also join Hale Irwin as the second player to win on the Monterey Peninsula on both Tours ... Held the 36-hole lead at the 2006 event but carded 73 in the final round and finished T5. Finished T2 last year at the Nature Valley First Tee Open and was T11 at Pebble Beach in 2010.

• Defending champion Jeff Sluman's 74 today dropped him back into a T35 and probably ended his chances of winning a fourth title at Pebble Beach. Sluman trails by nine strokes heading into tomorrow's final round. The biggest come from behind win in tournament history was when Sluman rallied from six strokes back in 2009.

Jeff Freeman posted the low round of the day, carding 66 at Del Monte today. Freeman improved 48 spots into a T17 after his 76 at Pebble Beach yesterday.

• Tim Hansen/Glenn Weckerlin lead the better-ball amateur competition at 29-under-par 115.

• Through 36 holes, Mark McNulty leads all players with 12 birdies. Peter Senior has the fewest bogeys with only one.

• There have been five eagles made at Pebble Beach and six eagles made at Del Monte through the first two rounds. Chevron is making an $8,000 donation for every eagle made this week through their Eagles For Education program. Each eagle will provide funding for 20 kids to participate in The First Tee program for a year.

• After posting 67 at Del Monte yesterday, John Cook withdrew from the tournament after nine holes at Pebble Beach today with neck stiffness. Cook was 5-over for his round at the time of the withdrawal.