Round 2 notes: Mitsubishi Electric Championship

January 20, 2013

By Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii -- David Frost shot his second consecutive 7-under-par 65 and heads into Sunday’s final round with a 36-hole total of 14-under 130 and leads John Cook by two strokes at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

• Frost turned in a stellar back nine, making birdies on five of his first six holes to open up a four-stroke advantage on the field. It remained four until Cook, the 2011 winner of this tournament, cut it in half by draining a 114-yard pitching wedge for an eagle to close out his round with a 6-under-par 66.

• Frost will be bidding for his fourth win on the Champions Tour on Sunday. He posted his first win at the 2010 3M Championship before winning twice in playoffs in 2012, teaming with Michael Allen at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, and then beating Bernhard Langer at the AT&T Championship. When Frost and Allen won in Savannah last year, the team they beat in the playoff was Cook and Joey Sindelar.

• The winner of the 2013 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai will earn a first-place check for $309,000 as well as 309 points to kick off the 2013 Charles Schwab Cup race. Tom Lehman has won the season-long race the previous two years.

• A win here has been instrumental over the years in earning the winner a berth in the top-30 on the final money list. Jack Nicklaus (1994) is the only former winner of this event who didn’t finish the season among the top-30 money winners. Nicklaus played a limited schedule that season, making only six starts. Dan Forsman, the 2012 winner, finished 25th on the final money list.

• In the 29-year history of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, the player(s) who are leading or tied for the lead after 36 holes have gone on to win the tournament 18 times. However, in the previous nine years, Hale Irwin (2007), Tom Watson (2010) and Forsman (2012) have been the only Saturday leaders who went on to triumph. The tournament winner has come from the last group in six of the last seven years after not coming from the last group from 2003-05. The exception was in 2011 when Cook played in the next-to-last group.

• In 2012, the tournament winner came from the final group 17 times in 24 events.

• One of the best rounds on Saturday was turned in by 67-year-old Irwin. Perhaps the most successful Tour player in Island history with nine official wins, Irwin fired a 4-under-par 68, one stroke shy of his matching his age. Irwin has one-putted 20 of his first 36 holes and is tied with Kirk Triplett in Putts-per-Round with 26.0 and he is also second to Frost (1.567) in Putting Average at 1.591.

• Cook put himself into a good position for another good finish in this tournament and possibly picking up his ninth career win. With his eagle on the par-4, 18th hole, Cook finished with a 66 and is two strokes back entering the final round.
In addition to his win here two years ago, Cook was T3 last year and had a pair of sixth-place finishes in 2008 and 2009. He has posted 16 rounds in the 60s in 17 starts and his scoring average on the Big Island is an impressive 67.18.

• Cook is also bidding to become the sixth player to post multiple wins in this tournament. The others were Miller Barber, Al Geiberger, George Archer, Dana Quigley and Irwin.

• Cook is the lone player in the 40-man field to have played bogey-free golf through the first two rounds.

• Frost also extended his streak of consecutive holes without a three-putt to 236 dating back to 2012.

• The largest come-from-behind win in this tournament came in 2005 when Dana Quigley came from four strokes back to defeat 36-hole leader Tom Watson. He won the event with a par on the third playoff hole.
• Frost, Fred Couples and Tom Lehman lead in greens in regulation at 83.33%.

• With gusty winds the norm for most of Saturday’s round, the scoring average soared from 69.550 to 71.250. There were just 12 rounds in the 60s compared to 21 on Friday and there were 11 fewer sub-par rounds (21) than the previous day.

• The most difficult hole on Saturday was No. 8, a par-3 with an average score of 3.325 (+.325). The only player to make a birdie was Kenny Perry. There were 14 bogeys. No. 5 was the second most difficult with an average score of 3.175 (+.175). There were no birdies on the hole. The easiest was No. 14 4.375
(-.625). There was one eagle and 23 birdies.

• A total of nine players have posted two straight rounds in the 60s.