Notebook: Senior PGA, Round 2

May 24, 2013

By Champions Tour staff

Weather: Sunny and pleasant with high temperatures near 70s. Light winds from the ENE at 4-8 mph.

Current Leaderboard: Russ Cochran 69-66—135 (-7), Kenny Perry 69-66—135 (-7); Kiyoshi Murota 67-70—137 (-5), Jay Haas 66-72—138 (-4), Duffy Waldorf 66-72—138 (-4), Loren Roberts 70-68—138 (-4)

Russ Cochran (Paducah) and Kenny Perry (Franklin), a pair of native Kentuckians, matched 5-under-par 66s on Friday to earn a share of the second-round lead at the 2013 Senior PGA Championship. Their 5-unders were the day’s low rounds and put them in a strong position heading into the weekend with 36-hole totals of 7-under 135. Jay Haas and Duffy Waldorf, who shared the opening-round lead following 5-under 66s on Thursday, each finished at 1-over 72 on Friday and are currently T4. Japan’s Kiyoshi Murata is in sole possession of third place at 5-under 137.

Cochran has enjoyed previous success at this site. At the 1992 PGA Championship, he was T2 after 36 holes and eventually finished T7. Perry’s only previous appearance at Bellerive CC was in 2008 when he finished T44 in the BMW Championship.

Cochran’s best showing in this tournament has been a T23 in 2010 when the event was played at the Colorado Golf Club near Denver, while Kenny Perry finished ninth last year in just his second start in the event.

Perry and Cochran are the only two players in the field with consecutive rounds in the 60s.

A total of 80 players made the cut at 4-over 146. That is the largest number to make the cut since 2010 when 81 players made the cut.

Among the players missing the cut were Mark Calcavecchia (+6), Steve Lowery (+7), Esteban Toledo (+8), 2005 champion Mike Reid (+8), Gary Hallberg (+8), Brad Faxon (+9) and Larry Mize (+11).

Bernhard Langer rebounded from an 8-over-par 79 in his first round with an impressive 4-under-par 67 on Friday which allowed him to make the cut at 4 over. Langer had been in danger of missing a cut for the first time in a Champions Tour major championship when the day started. Langer hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation today after hitting just nine of 18 on Thursday. He also had three fewer putts in Friday’s round (28). His 4-under 67 allowed him to jump 78 places on the leaderboard.

The 36-hole leader(s) at this event hasn’t enjoyed much success in recent years. Since 2000, only three players in that position have gone on to win the event, including Roger Chapman in 2012, who shared the lead with John Cook. The others who went on to win were Hale Irwin in 2004 and Doug Tewell in 2000.

Scott Hoch and Bob Tway made the day’s biggest moves. After each posted opening rounds of 5-over-par 76, they fired 4-under 67s to move up 87 spots on the leaderboard. Two other players made big moves as well. Jim Rutledge moved from T103 to T30 after a 4-under 67 and Willie Wood’s 3-under 68 moved him up 59 places from T89 to T30.

Sonny Skinner, Jeff Coston and Mark Mielke own the best two-round totals for club professionals in the field with a 36-hole score of 2-under 140. Six club professionals from a field of 42 made the 36-hole cut.

Four-time Senior PGA Championship winner and long-time St. Louis resident Hale Irwin shot a 2-over 73 and is now 2-over after 36 holes and is T37. This also marks the 17th time in his career he has made the cut in this event. His only miss came in 2008.

Despite a bogey on his final hole, defending champion Roger Chapman just made the cut a 4-over 146.

While this is Kohki Idoki’s first appearance in the Senior PGA Championship, it was also his first trip ever to the United States. The 51-year-old Idoki hails from Hyogo, Japan and is a two-time winner on the Japan PGA TOUR

The field averaged 73.63, a slight increase from Thursday’s average of 73.29.. There were 19 rounds in the 60s, one more than the previous round and 30 players finished under par, one more than on Thursday.

The most difficult hole was No. 6 with an average score of 3.561 (+.561 over par). The easiest was No. 11 with an average score of 3.574 (-.426 under par).

Loren Roberts has had his putter working just right through the first two rounds. Roberts has needed just 49 putts, including 24 one-putts to lead the field.