Notebook: Langer projects as Schwab Cup champion

November 02, 2012
Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jay Don Blake carded a 6-under 64 in the first round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship to take a one-shot lead on Thursday. Here are some notes from the first round:

Schwab Cup projections
Player Ranking/Points Score/Position Projected finish/total
Bernhard Langer 1st/2,413 points 69/T14 1st/2,511
Tom Lehman 2nd/2,202 points 68/T11 2nd/2,331
Roger Chapman 3rd/1,756 points 69/T14 3rd/1,854

Here's where the three players in contention for the 2012 Charles Schwab Cup -- Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman and Roger Chapman -- stand after the first 18 holes. On Sunday, the player with the most Schwab Cup points will earn a $1 million payout.

Projected money
Player Current money total/rank Projected rank/money
Bernhard Langer $2,023,296/1st 1st/$2,072,296
Michael Allen $1,616,488/2nd 2nd/$1,665,488
Tom Lehman $1,542,575/3rd 3rd/1,606,909

If the Charles Schwab Cup Championship ended today, here's the projected final 2012 money totals:

Stats of the leaders
Player Fairways Hit Greens/Regulation Putts/Round Driving Distance
Jay Don Blake (-6) 11/13-84.6% (T3) 10/18-61% (T20) 24.0 (T1) 310.5 (1st)
Gary Hallberg (-5) 8/13-61.5% (T15) 14/18-78% (T5) 27.0 (T4) 306.0 (3rd)

• Blake, the defending champ, holds a one-stroke lead over Gary Hallberg after the first round. The last time a player successfully defended a Champions Tour title on two different courses was at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship when John Cook won in 2009 at Sonoma Golf Club and then claimed a second consecutive title at TPC Harding Park the following year.

• On the 2012 Champions Tour, just three first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win the 23 events that have been played thus far and it hasn't happened since late May when Roger Chapman won the Senior PGA Championship after leading by one after the first round.

• In the previous 22 Charles Schwab Cup Championships, a first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win nine times with Cook being the last champion to do so in 2010.

• Blake has only been a first-round leader/co-leader on the Champions Tour three other times and before today, the last time he was in this position and held sole possession of the first round lead was at the 2011 Allianz Championship and eventually finished T6.

• Six players made their first appearance in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship -- Chapman (69/-1), Joe Daley (70/E ), Bill Glasson (66/-4), Hallberg (65/-5), Kirk Triplett (67/-3 ) and Willie Wood (71/+1 ). In the history of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, eight players have won this event in their first appearance, including Blake last year at TPC Harding Park. Loren Roberts (71/+1), Jay Haas (66/-4) and Brad Bryant (68/-2) all made their eighth consecutive appearances in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship today.

Here's how the seven players in the field with ties to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area did in Round 1:

Triplett (Scottsdale) -- 67 (-3); Mark Calcavecchia (3-time Waste Management Phoenix Open winner) -- 68 (-2); Lehman (Scottsdale) -- 68 (-2); Michael Allen (Scottsdale) -- 69 (-1); Kenny Perry -- (2009 FBR Open winner) -- 69 (-1); Daley -- (Scottsdale) -- 70 (E); Dan Forsman (Arizona State) -- 75 (+5).

Fred Couples, making his first appearance on the Champions Tour since withdrawing from the Boeing Classic on August 26 with a lower back injury, birdied three of his last four holes for a 4-under 66. Couples is playing in just his 11th event on the Champions Tour this year.

• With perfect scoring conditions today at the par-70 Club at Desert Mountain, the field averaged 69.133 (-0.867) compared to 72.367(+1.367) in Round 1 at the par-71 TPC Harding Park last year. Just two eagles were made in Round 1. Perry chipped in from off the green at No. 15 and Michael Allen pitched in from just short of the 18th green.

• Perry made two birdies and an eagle on the three par-5s on the Cochise course while Blake and Chapman were the only other player to birdie all three par-5s at this venue.

• Today marked the first Champions Tour event on the Cochise Course at The Club at Desert Mountain since the 2001 Countrywide Tradition where Doug Tewell defeated Mike McCullough by nine strokes.

• The par-3 17th hole played as the most difficult in Round 1 (3.367), yielding just three birdies (Olin Browne, Couples, Langer). The par-4, fourth hole ranked as the second most difficult (4.333) and gave up two birdies (Blake, Peter Senior). Half of the field birdied the par-5 8th hole and it ranked second easiest (4.567), while the 15th hole played as the easiest (4.533) with an eagle and 14 birdies.

• Blake made the most birdies today with seven while Triplett had the only bogey-free round.

• Charles Schwab announced that a donation would be made on behalf of the championship to the Red Cross in order to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.