Notebook: Boeing Classic, Round 2

August 24, 2013

John Riegger’s chip-in eagle from 15 yards in front of the par-5 15th green lifted him to a three stroke lead over four other players through 36 holes of the Boeing Classic. Riegger’s eagle coupled with seven more birdies led to an 8-under 64, the low round of the day and his best score on the Champions Tour since joining the circuit in early June. Tom Lehman, the Champions Tour’s Player of the Year the last two seasons, birdied the final three holes to shoot 67 and he’s among the group at 8-under along with Bernhard Langer, the 2010 Boeing Classic champion, Kirk Triplett, a native of Pullman, Wash., and Bobby Clampett.

John Riegger

-- Is bidding to win his first Champions Tour event in his fifth official start and if successful tomorrow, he would become the fifth rookie and fifth first-time winner on the circuit this year, equalling the record for most rookies to triumph in a season.

-- His 8-under-par 64 today is his career-best score on the Champions Tour. His previous-best round since joining the Champions Tour in early June was a 66 in Round 1 of the 3M Championship.

-- Last of two victories on the Tour came at the 2010 Rex Hospital Open (5/23/10) at age 46. He’s made two starts on the PGA TOUR, four on the Champions Tour, and 33 appearances on the Tour since last winning near Raleigh, NC.

-- Initial Tour win came at the 2007 LaSalle Bank Open in Chicago.

-- Joined the circuit at the Encompass Championship in Chicago after turning 50 on June 13 and best finish among his four career appearances this year is a T14 at the 3M Championship.

-- Could become the first player to make the Boeing Classic his first victory on the Champions Tour.

-- Earned his exemption on the Champions Tour by finishing T4 at the National Qualifying Tournament, securing the fifth position with a birdie on the second extra playoff hole.

-- Career-best finish among 224 PGA TOUR starts is a T5 at the 2006 John Deere Classic.

Tournament Notes

-- John Riegger (1) and Bobby Clampett (T2) are searching for their first titles on the Champions Tour. Should either of the them go on to win the Boeing Classic tomorrow, it would mark the second time this year for back-to-back first-time winners. Bart Bryant won last week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Earlier this year, Esteban Toledo (Insperity Championship) and Kohki Idoki (Senior PGA Championship) won back-to-back events.

-- In the previous eight Boeing Classics, four second-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win the tournament and Mark Calcavecchia was the last to do so in 2011. Other Saturday leaders to go on and win in Seattle are: David Eger (2005), Loren Roberts (2009), Bernhard Langer (2010). No winner of this event has ever come from further back than four strokes (2007/Denis Watson) on Sunday or further back that the T4 position (Tom Kite/2006).

-- Thus far in 2013, six of the previous 16 events have been won by Saturday leaders. Saturday leaders have won the last two events on the Champions Tour (Tom Pernice, Jr./3M Championship, Bart Bryant/Dick’s Sporting Goods Open).

-- Players in the last group have gone on to win the Boeing Classic five times – 2005/David Eger, 2008/Tom Kite, 2009/Loren Roberts, 2010/Bernhard Langer, 2011/Mark Calcavecchia. On the 2013 Champions Tour, 11 of the 17 previous events have been one by a player in the last grouping, including six of the last seven tournaments.

-- Tomorrow’s winner will earn 300 Charles Schwab Cup points. Bernhard Langer, currently in second place in the Schwab Cup standings, could cut into Kenny Perry’s 866-point lead with a victory tomorrow. Perry is currently T10 after shooting 69 today.

-- Two-time Boeing Classic champion Tom Kite made the biggest move of the day, jumping 40 spots into a T29 after a 66. Kite won the Boeing event in both 2006 and 2008 and the 66 by the 63-year-old World Golf Hall of Fame member was his best in this event since 66 in the final round five years ago.

-- After playing to a stroke average of 72.238 yesterday, the TPC Snoqualmie Course had a stroke average of 71.228 today, the lowest for a second round at the Boeing Classic since 2006 (70.753). Last year’s second-round scoring average was 71.821. The par-3 13th hole played as the hardest today, yielding just six birdies with Duffy Waldorf and Rocco Mediate the only two players among the top 10 to make birdie there.

-- Seattle native and World Golf Hall of Fame member Fred Couples birdied three of his last five holes to shoot 70 and get in at 5-under 139 (T10). Couples trails by six strokes and will need a heroic charge tomorrow if he hopes to win his first event in 2013 and claim a tournament in his hometown.

-- Scott Hoch withdrew before the start of his round with an ankle injury.