Notebook: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, Round 2

March 23, 2013

By Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

-- Weather: Mostly cloudy and humid during the day with occasional showers in the afternoon. A brief thunderstorm moved through the area in the early afternoon which caused a suspension of play from 1:04-2:30 p.m. Highs were in the low 70s with winds from the SE at 5-10 mph. Lift, clean and place rules were in effect.

-- With much calmer conditions and lift, clean and place rules in effect on Saturday, the results are a crowded leaderboard. Bernhard Langer, Roger Chapman, Corey Pavin and Joe Daley all share the 36-hole lead at 8-under-par 136. However, lurking one stroke behind are Tom Pernice, Jr., Gene Sauers and Esteban Toledo. Four players trail by two strokes, including defending champion Fred Couples.

-- For the second day in succession, the four players tied for the lead own major championships on their resumes. Corey Pavin (1995 U.S. Open Championship) and Bernhard Langer (1985, 1993 Masters) were winners on the PGA TOUR and Langer also won the 2010 Senior British Open and the 2010 U.S. Senior Open on the Champions Tour. Joe Daley claimed the 2012 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, while Roger Chapman won the 2012 Senior PGA Championship and the U.S. Senior Open.

-- Pavin’s six consecutive birdies to start his round is the best streak in that category on the Champions Tour in 2013. It also matched his best birdie streak on the PGA TOUR. He strung together six straight in the first round at the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee on his way to a 9-under-par 61. He would go on to win the event, the last of his 15 PGA TOUR victories.

-- Pavin is the only player in the field with two consecutive rounds in the 60s. A year ago Michael Allen was the only player to post three rounds in the 60s.

-- Pavin is also tied for first in driving accuracy with Mark Bucek. Each has hit 26 of 28 fairways.

-- Tom Pernice Jr., may have had the day’s best round. After starting out with consecutive bogeys to drop to 2-over-par for the tournament, Pernice birdied nine of his final 15 holes to finish with a 7-under-par 65. Pernice made consecutive birdies on Nos. 12-16 and one-putted 12 of his final 15 holes.

-- Joe Daley could be in line for his best finish in a Champions Tour event since he won the 2012 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Daley is currently tied for the lead. Daley also leads all players in fewest putts per round with 25.50.

-- The winner of this event will earn 240 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race as well as a check for $240,000. David Frost leads the current Charles Schwab Cup race with 565 points followed by Bernhard Langer with 517 and John Cook with 459. Frost also leads the current money list with $564,500.

-- Defending champion Fred Couples got himself back into contention after shooting a 6-under-par 66 and he is one of four players T8, two strokes behind. Couples hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation after hitting just 11 of 18 in his opening round.

-- A day after having 35 putts in his round, Gary Hallberg needed just 21 putts on Saturday, the fewest in either of the first two rounds. Hallberg had 11 one putts and had two holes where he did not have a putt.

-- Bernhard Langer continued his streak of consecutive rounds par/better and now has 20, dating back to the close of the 2012 season. That is the longest current streak on the Champions Tour.

-- Thanks to much more placid conditions on Saturday, the field shaved nearly three strokes off the opening-round average of 73.617. The second round average was 70.667. Just four players posted rounds in the 60s on Friday, but that number jumped to 26 on Saturday and the number of players finishing below par went from 22 to 47.

-- The second round scoring average of 70.667 was the second lowest for a round in tournament history. The lowest remains the second round in 2011 when the average was 69.987.

-- Brad Bryant, Roger Chapman, Fred Couples, Scott Hoch, Chien Soon Lu, Gene Sauers and Willie Wood all finished with bogey-free rounds on Saturday.

-- The most difficult hole on Saturday was again No. 2 with an average score of 4.173 (+.173) but it was joined by No. 5 also at 4.173 (+.173). The easiest remained No. 6 at 4.469 (-.531), with five eagles, 33 birdies and 43 pars. There were no bogeys on the hole.

-- Sunday’s forecast calls for decreasing cloudiness by afternoon before becoming mostly sunny during the afternoon. Highs are expected to be in the mid-70s with WNW winds at 10-15 mph with gusts to 25 in the afternoon.