Price takes two-stroke lead in Newport
Nick Price followed his record-tying first round with a 3-under 68 on Saturday at Newport Beach Country Club to take a two-stroke lead in the Toshiba Classic.
The 54-year-old Price had four birdies and a bogey a day after matching the Champions Tour record with a career-best 11-under 60. Seeking his fourth victory on the 50-and-over tour, Price had a 14-under 128 total.
”I think after a good round you tend to play a little cautiously,” Price said. ”I felt like I played two shots better than I did.”
Mark Wiebe was second after his second straight 65.
”Nick is a great player and I’m going to have to do some magic,” said Wiebe, a two-time winner on the Champions Tour. ”We’ll have to see what I have in my bag of tricks.”
Japanese star Joe Ozaki (64) and Mark O’Meara (67) were 10 under, and defending champion Fred Couples (67) was 9 under along with Michael Allen (64) and Tom Pernice Jr. (65).
Price, five strokes ahead after the first round, played 28 holes without a bogey before dropping a stroke on the par-4 11th. He had a chance to get it back the next hole, but missed a short putt.
”I felt like I put a good stroke on it,” Price said. It’s hard to miss the hole from a foot and a half. I think it had to have hit something.”
In the first round, Ozaki hadn’t heard from Yoshie, who was back in Tokyo enduring the earthquake and aftershocks. She called him Friday night and assured him that she was fine. Able to relax, Ozaki rattled off seven birdies in the round, four from 20 feet or longer.
”I wasn’t really nervous,” Ozaki said through an interpreter. ”I knew if something happened, somebody would call.”
Gil Morgan had a 64, matching his age, to join Robert Thompson (66), Jeff Sluman (66) and Olin Browne (66) at 8 under. Bernard Langer, tied for second after an opening 65, had a 73 to drop into a tie for 34th at 4 under. Ian Baker-Finch struggled again in his Champions Tour debut, following an opening 74 with a 79.