Notes: Hallberg matches biggest 36-hole lead

July 27, 2012
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: Mostly cloudy, windy and cool with highs only reaching the upper 50s. Winds were from the WNW at 15-20 mph with some higher gusts.

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Gary Hallberg's impressive 7-under 63, one shy of the tournament record, allowed the former Wake Forest standout to open a three-stroke lead over Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer after two rounds of the Senior British Open. Hallberg made a bogey at No. 2, falling to 2 over after 20 holes, but played the final 16 holes at 8 under. Langer, the 18-hole leader, was holding his own in the windy conditions, but faltered with a triple bogey at No. 13 to relinquish his one-stroke lead at the time.


• Hallberg turned in the round of the day in the blustery conditions. Hallberg shot a 7-under 63, falling one stroke shy of the tournament 18-hole scoring record set here in 2003 by Jim Colbert. Hallberg is the fourth player to post a 63 in this event. D.A. Weibring was the first in 2003, while Don Pooley and Eduardo Romero followed in 2006.

• Hallberg's play over his last 27 holes has been amazing. After shooting a 5-over 40 on his front nine on Thursday, he is 11 under in that 27-hole span with 13 birdies and just two bogeys.

• Hallberg's three-stroke lead after 36 holes matches the largest 36-hole lead in tournament history. Fred Funk set that mark in 2009.

• Besides Hallberg, only Fred Couples was able to manage a round below par, finishing with a 2-under 68. In addition, only David Eger, Ian Woosnam and Des Smyth posted even-par rounds. All but Smyth played in the morning groups.

• One of the keys to Hallberg's 63 was his putting. He needed just 24 putts in his round, the fewest by any player in the tournament in either round. He ranks third through two rounds in putts per round with an average of 27.0. Jeff Hart leads with 26.0 per round.

• Hallberg shared the 36-hole lead at the 1991 British Open at Royal Birkdale with Andrew Oldcorn and Mike Harwood before eventually finishing T32 in that tournament.

• Among the players missing the cut were Greg Norman, Sam Torrance, Bob Tway, Steve Jones, Sandy Lyle, Tony Jacklin, Craig Stadler, Brad Faxon, Isao Aoki, Chip Beck, Tommy Armour III, Wayne Grady, Joe Daley as well as former champions Bruce Vaughan, Pete Oakley and Noburu Sugai.

• As usual, this year's field truly has an international flavor with 21 nations represented in the starting field. The United States has the largest representation with 55 players, but England (28) and Australia (12) are well represented as well.

• Probably the most frustrated golfer on Friday was Tony Johnstone. The native of Zimbabwe opened with a 3-under 67 on Thursday, but had his problems on Friday. He saw his score jump 15 strokes, finishing with a 12-over 82 and missing the cut.

• The field scoring average soared nearly four strokes from Thursday. The average was 72.05 on Thursday and jumped to 76.01 on Friday.