Pernice holds onto lead in iffy weather at Toshiba Classic
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) Tom Pernice Jr. remained patient in cool, rainy and breezy conditions on Saturday and held onto a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Toshiba Classic.
Pernice shot a 1-under 70 with a sloppy bogey on the par-5 18th as the leaderboard began to bunch up at Newport Beach Country Club. Joe Durant, Scott McCarron and Vijay Singh were among the players who challenged Pernice throughout the afternoon, and 13 players were within four shots of the lead heading into the final round.
Pernice’s pitching wedge from 108 yards on 18 caught a gust of wind and spun back into a bunker.
”Just not a very good finish, unfortunately,” Pernice said. ”I played pretty solid most of the day, just didn’t get the ball close to the hole very often.”
The 58-year-old Pernice, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour Champions, was at 8-under 134. Durant, a winner three weeks ago at the Chubb Classic, shot 66 and was one shot back alongside McCarron (68), who missed a par putt from about 3 feet on the par-4 14th as part of an up-and-down back nine.
”I’m hitting the ball well and I hit the ball well the last two days,” McCarron said. ”Again, just haven’t been really making a lot of putts, but neither is anybody else.”
McCarron was with Pernice before the bogey on 14. He made two straight birdies and was one shot behind when he pulled his tee shot on the par-3 17th, leading to bogey.
”The wind’s coming in hard out of the right and I was trying to hit a little cut up there, and I took a lot of club,” McCarron said. ”I didn’t make a good turn and when I do that, I pull it.”
Singh shot 68 and joined Scott Verplank (69) at 6 under.
”Nothing spectacular or nothing disastrous, you know,” Singh said. ”Putting nicely, so that’s a big thing.”