NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Bernhard Langer held a two-stroke lead on Saturday in pursuit of a fourth Chubb Classic win.
A day after shooting his age, the 64-year-old German star had a 4-under 68 to arrive at 12-under 132 on the black course at Tiburon Golf Club.
“It was a bit more up and down,” Langer said. “Yesterday I had a very clean card, no bogeys. Today I had seven birdies, but also three bogeys. I felt it was a bit more difficult today. Different wind direction, and stronger wind as well.
Scott Parel (64), Retief Goosen (67) and Tim Petrovic (68) were tied for second in the PGA Tour Champions’ first full tournament of the year.
Langer won the event – in its 35th season, the longest-running PGA Tour Tournament of Champions in the same city – in 2011 at The Quarry and 2013 and 2016 at TwinEagles. The two-time Masters champion has 42 wins on the 50+ circuit and won six Charles Schwab Cup season points titles. He became the oldest winner in tour history in October at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Virginia.
“I’m going to have to play another solid round tomorrow or even better to lift the trophy,” Langer said. “Keep the ball in play, stay out of trouble and hopefully make a few putts. It always helps.
Langer birdied the par-5 15th and par-4 16th, bogeyed the par-4 17th and closed with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
“It’s good to have a two-stroke lead, not a one-stroke lead,” Langer said. “It’s nice to make a putt and end the day well and give people something to celebrate too.”
Goosen birdied 15 and 18.
“Well, tomorrow will be another different wind,” Goosen said. “We had the southwest. Today was northwest. Tomorrow I think it’s back to the south or southwest. The course is therefore played a little differently each day.
The two-time US Open champion won the 2019 Senior Players Championship for his only win as champion.
“It’s one of those courses, if you hit it right you have birdie chances,” Goosen said. “Lots of holes you can hit short irons in. And get a hot putter, you can get a low putter.”
Parel birdied Nos. 15, 16 and 18.
“I love it,” Parel said of playing alongside Langer on Sunday. ” He is incredible. I saw him yesterday. I’m like, ‘I’m glad you’re shooting your age and not mine, because then we wouldn’t stand a chance.’ No, I like playing with Bernhard. Obviously he is a special golfer and a better person than he is a golfer.
Steven Alker made the 18th for 65 to join Jerry Kelly (68) at 8 under.
Brian Gay and YE Yang were 7 under, each shooting 70-67 in their senior debuts. Gay turned 50 on December 14. He won the Bermuda Championship on the PGA Tour in the fall of 2020.
Yang turned 50 on January 15. The South Korean player won the 2009 PGA Championship.
Ernie Els (68) and Scott Dunlap (69) were also at 7 under.
Last year’s winner Steve Stricker was unable to defend himself as he tries to regain his strength due to a virus which hospitalized him late last year.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 2019 Classics champion at Lely Resort who opened the season last month in Hawaii with a victory in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, had a 70 to move to 3 under.
Jim Furyk shot his second straight 71. He had a triple bogey 7 on the No. 3 and rallied with birdies on three of the last four.
Padraig Harrington had 5 points after a 72 in his third start as champion. David Duval, making his second senior start, followed an 80 opener with a 75.