Teams share Legends lead
David Frost and Michael Allen birdied nine of the first 13 holes and combined for a 9-under 63 on Saturday for a share of the second-round lead with Tom Purtzer and Brad Bryant in the Legends of Golf.
The teams were at 19-under 125 in the better event. Bryant and Allen had 65 at The Club at Savannah Harbor.
The leaders in the 54-hole Champions Tour event were one shot ahead of four teams: Gil Morgan and Tom Kite (61); Bobby Clampett and Andy North (62); Jay Haas and Fred Couples (63); and Jeff Sluman and Brad Faxon (64).
Six other teams were at 17 under heading into the final round.
”We had a good time out there,” Allen said about their bogey-free round. ”We were fighting. It was fun.”
Allen, coming off a victory last week at TPC Tampa Bay, currently tops the senior circuit’s money list and leads Bernhard Langer by 157 points in the Schwab Cup race.
Frost had the hot hand early, rolling in four birdie putts on the first seven holes. When he cooled off, Allen took over, making birdies on five of the next six holes.
”Yeah, it’s just nice generally to just have a good mate to play out there with,” Frost said. ”You know he’s going to come into play when you’re out … and hopefully we don’t play the same holes badly. That’s the only question mark out there.”
Unless you count the weather. Saturday was sunny, warm with a mild breeze coming up the Savannah River. Almost perfect for golf. Rain was forecast for Sunday, however.
”I bet it will take 30 under to win if the weather is like it was today,” Purtzer said.
And if it’s not?
”I think we’re OK because we both hit the ball high, so we’re not looking for it to roll a lot,” Purtzer said.
Mark James rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt from off the 18th green as he and Des Smyth repeated as champions of the unofficial 54-hole Raphael Division title at 19-under, one stroke better than two teams: Dennis Watson and Steve Jones, and Mark McCumber and Wayne Grady. Jones, playing in the group ahead of the winners, holed his approach on the finishing hole for eagle.
Earlier in the week, Gibby Gilbert and J.C. Snead repeated as champions of the 54-hole Demaret Division for players 70 or older.
The Legends was first played in 1978 in Austin, Texas, and is considered the event that launched the 50-and-over tour. It was all team play until 2002, but always unofficial money. The tournament was played in four cities and on eight courses before coming to Savannah in 2003 as an individual event. It went back to team play and official money in 2008.