Notebook: 3M Championship, Round 2

August 03, 2013

By Champions Tour staff

-- Tom Pernice Jr., followed up his 6-under-par 66 with a 7-under-par 65 on Saturday and opened a two-stroke lead after 36 holes at the 21st annual 3M Championship. Pernice’s lone blemish on his card came on No. 14 when he pulled his 6-iron into a hazard. However, he salvaged what could have been a disastrous hole by draining a 40+ foot putt for a bogey. He closed with birdies on Nos. 15 and 18, the second giving him his two-shot cushion on Tom Kite, who finished the day at 11-under-par.

-- Pernice Jr. is bidding for his second victory on the Champions Tour and first since he won the 2009 SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. This is Pernice’s 51st start since his victory in North Carolina which came in his first start on the Champions Tour.

-- Pernice has led only one other time heading into the final round on the Champions Tour and that came in his win when he was one in front of Russ Cochran, Denis Watson and Dan Forsman. He closed with a 3-under-par 69 to defeat David Frost and Nick Price by a stroke.

-- One of the keys for Pernice has been his play on the par-5 holes at TPC Twin Cities. Pernice has made birdies on seven of the eight through two rounds.

-- A win by Pernice would make him the fifth player to win this tournament in his first appearance. He’d join Vicente Fernandez (1996), Bruce Lietzke (2001), David Edwards (2006) and David Frost (2010), all of whom won in their first start at this event.

-- In the 20 previous 3M Championships, second-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win 11 times, the last coming in 2010 when David Frost prevailed. A year ago, David Peoples led by three strokes after 36 but eventually finished second behind Bernhard Langer.

-- Should Tom Kite win on Sunday, he would become the oldest winner in Champions Tour history at 63 years, 7 months, 26 days. Mike Fetchick holds the current mark when he won on his 63rd birthday at the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational.

-- A win by Kite would be his first since the 2008 Boeing Classic. This is his 115th start since that victory at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

-- Tom Kite has enjoyed previous success at the 3M Championship. He won the 2004 title and has six other top-10 finishes in the event.

-- With two rounds in the 60s so far in this tournament, it gives Kite six consecutive rounds in the 60s at the 3M Championship dating back to a final-round 68 in 2011.

-- With back-to-back rounds in the 60s, it marks the first time Kite has done so since the opening-round event this year at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai when he posted rounds of 66-69 before closing with a 1-over-par 73 to finish T9.

-- First-round leader Mark Wiebe could not keep his momentum going after an opening-round 8-under-par 64. Wiebe shot a 1-under 71. After reaching 12-under-par after seven holes, Wiebe played his final 11 holes 3-over-par, making bogeys on three of his final five holes on Saturday.

-- The winner of Sunday’s title will earn 263 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. Kenny Perry (T10) is the current leader with 2,508 points and leads Bernhard Langer (not in field this week) by 795 points. David Frost is currently third, 895 points behind. Current 36-hole leader Tom Pernice, Jr., is 16th with 659 points.

-- Kirk Triplett had the day’s low round, an 8-under-par 64 and that round helped him move up 32 places on the leaderboard from T38 to T6.

-- Rod Spittle remains bogey-free after 36 holes, the lone player in the field without a bogey on his scorecard. He is also currently T3 and a top-10 finish would earn him a spot into the next Champions Tour event at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y. Spittle is currently an alternate for the field. He was an alternate in this week’s field before getting into the field when D.A. Weibring withdrew prior to the start of the tournament.

-- The field averaged 70.568 in the second round, a slight drop from the average in the first round (70.790). There were 59 rounds below par, seven more than the previous day and 38 rounds in the 60s, 10 more than in round one.

-- Hole No. 14 remained the most difficult hole at 4.191 (+.191) while No. 7 was the easiest at 3.599 (-.401). There were 5 eagles and 44 birdies and just two bogeys on the hole. Surprisingly, current leader Tom Pernice, Jr., has made pars both days.

-- In the 10th Annual Greats of Golf Challenge, Team Majors shot a 16-under-par 56 to claim the Miller Barber Cup by two strokes over Team USA and Team LPGA. Team Majors was captained by Don January and included Lee Trevino, David Graham and Fuzzy Zoeller.