Round 3 Notes: U.S. Senior Open

July 13, 2013
By Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff

News and notes from the third round of the U.S. Senior Open:

Michael Allen (67-63-72--202/-8)

• Despite carding a 2-over 72 today, Michael Allen takes a two-stroke lead into the final round of the U.S. Senior Open. One day after shooting 63, Allen struggled on the back nine on Saturday. He turned in even par, but then made just three pars on his inward nine holes. Allen made bogey at Nos. 10, 11 and then rallied to get back to 10-under for the tournament with birdies at the 13th and 14th holes. However, Allen did not get up and down from the greenside bunker at the par-3 16th and then a wayward drive at No. 18 led to a closing bogey.

• This marks the second time Allen has led after three rounds of a major championship on the Champions Tour and the third time he’s led after 54 holes of a 72-hole event. Allen enjoyed a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the 2009 Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club and went on to win by two strokes in his debut on the circuit. He also held the lead after 54 holes (one stroke over John Cook) of the 2010 Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park near San Francisco, but eventually lost by two shots.  

• Allen is making his fourth career appearance in the U.S. Senior Open this week. His previous-best position after 54 holes of this championship was fifth in 2010 at Sahalee Country Club and he eventually finished T6, his best overall finish in this event.

• Allen is making his 14th appearance on the 2013 Champions Tour and won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in late March, his fourth career victory on the circuit. He also finished T4 two weeks ago in the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS  Championship and was T5 at the Regions Tradition…Also T20 at the Senior PGA Championship at Bellerive. He’s seeking to join Bernhard Langer and David Frost as the third multiple winner on the 2013 Champions Tour.   

• Allen's results in Senior majors:

  Senior PGA
U.S. Senior Open
The Senior Open
2013 T20   T4 T5  
2012 11 T33 T9 T9 T18
2011 T11 T7 T17 4 T28
2010 T11 T6 2 T2 T30
2009 1       T13

• Players that have won both the Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open in their career (8): Arnold Palmer (1981 U.S. Senior Open/1980, 1983 Senior PGA), Miller Barber/1982, 1984, 1985 U.S. Senior Open/1981 Senior PGA), Gary Player (1987, 1988 U.S. Senior Open/1986, 1988, 1990 Senior PGA), Jack Nicklaus (1991, 1993 U.S. Senior Open/1990 Senior PGA), Lee Trevino (1990 U.S. Senior Open/1992, 1994 Senior PGA), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000 U.S. Senior Open/1996, 1997, 1998, 2004 Senior PGA), Allen Doyle (2005, 2006 U.S. Senior Open, 1999 Senior PGA), Roger Chapman (2012 U.S. Senior Open/2012 Senior PGA).

Fred Funk (67-67-70-67--204/-6)

• Funk is seeking to win his second U.S. Senior Open title in five years and if successful tomorrow, he would join Miller Barber (1982, 1984, 1985), Gary Player (1987, 1988), Jack Nicklaus (1991, 1993), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000) and Allen Doyle (2005, 2006) as a multiple winner of this championship.

• Funk is also making his seventh appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and won the championship in 2009 at Crooked Stick Golf Club near Indianapolis with a 20-under 268 total, an event record for most strokes under par over 72 holes.

• Funk has now shot 67 five times in his last seven rounds at the U.S. Senior Open and has 13 scores in the 60s out of 27 career rounds posted in the championship.

• Funk has won eight times on the Champions Tour, including major victories at the 2008 JELD-WEN Tradition, 2009 U.S Senior Open and 2010 JELD-WEN Tradition.

• Funk has played in 13 events on the 2013 Champions Tour and best finish is T2 with partner Mike Goodes at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf ... Was T13 at the Senior PGA Championship, T12 at the Regions Tradition and was T18 two weeks ago at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

• Funk is seeking to win his first title on the Champions Tour since the 2012 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn and a win tomorrow would end a victory drought of 15 events.   

Kenny Perry (67-73-64--204/-6)

• Perry is making his second appearance in the U.S. Senior Open and missed the cut last year at Indianwood Golf & Country Club near Detroit.

• Perry won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago at Fox Chapel Golf Club, his third career victory on the Champions Tour.

• The Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS victory was also Perry’s first major title in his 10th career start in a senior major ... Earlier this year, Perry was T2 at the Senior PGA Championship, losing a three-shot lead with six holes to play at Bellerive, and he also was T15 at the Regions Tradition. 
• Perry is in position to make the U.S. Senior Open his second consecutive major championship and if successful tomorrow, he’d be the second player in the last three years to do so. In 2010, Bernhard Langer won the Senior British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland and then flew all the way to Seattle the following week and won the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee.

• Should Perry win tomorrow, it would also mark the third time is the last four years that a player has claimed multiple majors in a season on the Champions Tour. In addition to Langer in 2010, Roger Chapman won both the Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open last year.

• Players that have won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS and the U.S. Senior Open in the same year (2): Gary Player (1987), Orville Moody (1989). Others to win both in their careers include (8): Miller Barber (1982, 1984, 1985 U.S. Senior Open/1983 Senior Players), Arnold Palmer (1981 U.S. Senior Open/1984, 1985 Senior Players), Billy Casper (1983 U.S. Senior Open/1988 Senior Players), Jack Nicklaus (1990, 1993 U.S. Senior Open/1991, 1993 Senior Players), Dave Stockton (1996 U.S. Senior Open/1992, 1994 Senior Players), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000 U.S. Senior Open/1999 Senior Players), Allen Doyle (2005, 2006 U.S. Senior Open/2001 Senior Players), Peter Jacobsen (2004 U.S. Senior Open/2005 Senior Players).

• Perry is attempting to become the first player since Michael Allen to record consecutive wins on the Champions Tour. Allen won last year’s Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay and then teamed with David Frost to win the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf the next week.

• Perry is seeking to become the third multiple winner on the Champions Tour this year. Bernhard Langer was the first multiple champion, claiming the ACE Group Classic and Greater Gwinnett Championship. David Frost won the Toshiba Classic and the Regions Tradition.

• Perry was T41 last week at The Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR.

• Perry currently leads the Charles Schwab Cup race at the halfway point in the season with 1,508 points and could take a sizeable advantage in the season-long race with a victory tomorrow. Michael Allen is in sixth place with 856 points and Fred Funk is in 27th place with 238 points.  

Third-Round Statistics at the U.S. Senior Open

• The winner has come from the last grouping on Sunday in the last three Champions Tour events and from the last grouping in eight of the previous 13 tournaments in 2013. No winner this year has come from further back than the second to last grouping on Sunday. The previous two majors this year were won by players in the final grouping. Kohki Idoki, the Senior PGA Championship winner, was in the second-to-last grouping at Bellerive Country Club near St. Louis. The winner of the U.S. Senior Open has come from the final grouping on Sunday five times in the last seven years with Brad Bryant in 2007 and Roger Chapman last year being the exception.

• Since 1990, players leading or co-leading the U.S. Senior Open after the third round have gone on to win 12 times, including four times in the last five years. Thus far on the 2013 Champions Tour, Saturday leaders/co-leaders have won five times in the first 13 tournaments. In the first three senior majors this year, Kohki Idoki came from five strokes back on Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship and Kenny Perry came from two shots back at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS. David Frost led the Regions Tradition by one stroke after three rounds and won by one.

• Four of the top-five players on the leaderboard have recorded a round above par in their first 54 holes this week. Fred Funk is the only player among that top five with three rounds of par/better. The last player to win the U.S. Senior Open with a round above par was in 2008 when Eduardo Romero carded a final-round 73 (+3) and still won by four strokes at The Broadmoor (East).

• Tomorrow’s U.S. Senior Open champion will earn a check for $500,000 from the $2.75 million purse. He will also earn a whopping 1,000 Charles Schwab Cup points. Points are awarded throughout the year based on top-10 finishes and dollar amounts won in events on a per-thousand basis ($100,000 equals 100 Charles Schwab Cup points). In addition to double points in all five major championships, the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship offers double points to all 30 players who qualify for the season-ending event at TPC Harding Park in San Franciso, Ca., the first week of November.

• Michael Allen, the 54-hole leader, shot 2-over 72 Saturday. Here are the highest scores by a U.S. Senior Open champion, 3rd round – 73 (+2), Billy Casper, Hazeltine GC, 1983; 73 (+2), Allen Doyle, NCR CC, 2005; 73 (+1), Lee Trevino, Ridgewood CC, 1990; 73 (+1), Dave Eichelberger, Des Moines G&CC, 1999.

• Corey Pavin, the 1995 U.S. Open champion, carded a 6-under-par 64, equaling the low round of the day, and it moved him up into solo fourth place. It was his best round on the Champions Tour since his 64 en route to winning the 2012 Allianz Championship. After starting with four straight pars today, Pavin made six birdies over his last 14 holes. It was Pavin’s ninth round in the 60s out of the 15 scores he’s now posted in the championship. Pavin’s career-best score on the Champions Tour is 63 at the 2010 Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic.

• Bernhard Langer enjoyed a four-stroke lead after 54 holes of last year’s U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood, but shot 72 on Sunday and was passed by Roger Chapman who had 66. The largest come-from-behind victory in the final round was by Allen Doyle at NCR Country Club in 2005. Doyle made up nine strokes thanks to a final-round 63, the best final-round score by a winner in championship history.  

• Tom Pernice, Jr. and Chien Soon Lu made the biggest moves of the day. Both players jumped 29 spots after posting 5-under 65s and they are both T6 after 54 holes. Pernice’s round continued his momentum. He was T80 after Thursday when he shot 74, but rebounded with 69 yesterday. Lu started the championship with a 68 but fell back yesterday after carding 75.

Scoring averages for Omaha Country Club (par 70)
  Front nine Back nine Total
Round 1 36.800 37.192 73.987
Round 2 36.732 37.336 74.053
Round 3 34.969 35.375 70.344

• The most difficult hole through the first three rounds of this year’s U.S. Senior Open is the par-4 8th hole (4.626). Playing at 477 yards, the par-4 8th has yielded just 10 birdies and Corey Pavin was one of his three players to birdie the hole in Round 3. The 494-yard par-4 10th hole (4.584) at Omaha Country Club has played as the second most difficult for the field through the first 54 holes, yielding just eight total birdies. Kenny Perry was the only player to birdie the 10th hole today.

• South African Chris Williams, a fixture on the European Senior Tour since 2009, birdied his first five holes on Saturday and equaled the record for most consecutive birdies in U.S. Senior Open history. Six other players had made five straight birdies during a round in this championship, most recently Jay Don Blake at Indianwood Golf & Country Club last year. Williams went on to post 66 and move up into a T6.