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RELEASE FROM THE CHAMPIONS TOUR:
2013 Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf Second-Round Notes
(the seventh of 26 official events on the 2013 Champions Tour)
Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa
April 26-28, 2013
Purse: $2,700,000/$500,000 (Raphael)
Par/Yards : 36-36—72/7,087; 6,742 (Raphael)
Charles Schwab Cup points: 230
Weather: Mostly sunny with high temperatures in the mid-to-upper-70s. Winds from the ENE from 5-15 mph.
Legends Leaderboard: 1) Jay Don Blake/Roger Chapman/66-61—127 (-17); T2) Brad Faxon/Jeff Sluman/62-66—128 (-16), Bernhard Langer/Tom Lehman/63-65—128 (-16), Craig Stadler/Kirk Triplett/64-64—128 (-16), Andy North/Tom Watson/64-64—128 (-16).
Final Raphael Division Results: 1 – Ian Baker-Finch/Bart Bryant/65-65—130 (-14); 2) Keith Fergus/Blaine McCallister/65-65—130 (-14); T3 – Mark James/Des Smyth/67-65—132 (-12), Dana Quigley/Jim Thorpe/71-61—132 (-12), Leonard Thompson/Hubert Green/67-65—132 (-12).
Jay Don Blake and partner Roger Chapman birdied seven of their final nine holes to grab the second-round lead in the Legends Division. Starting the day at No. 10, the pair was just three under after their opening nine holes, but birdied six straight (Nos. 1-6/all by Chapman) and added another at No. 8 (Blake) to post an 11-under-par 61, one of three groups to finish the day at 11-under-par. They'll begin Sunday's final round one better than four teams including a pair of teams that have won this event previously – Tom Watson/Andy North (2008) and Bernhard Langer/Tom Watson (2009).
Ian Baker-Finch rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole to give Baker-Finch and teammate Bart Bryant the title in the 36-hole Raphael Division over Blaine McCallister and Keith Fergus. The teams finished at 14-under 130 and matched birdies on the first two extra holes before Baker-Finch made his putt for the win. Baker-Finch and Bryant each won $60,000.
It turned out to be a great week for Bart Bryant. The three-time PGA TOUR winner wasn't even entered in the field when the week began. His partner Ian Baker-Finch was originally slated to play with Eduardo Romero but Romero withdrew due to illness. Gene Sauers became his replacement but when an opening occurred in the Legends Division (Russ Cochran/DQ), Sauers moved over to team up with Kenny Perry. Jim Rutledge became Baker-Finch's third partner, but John Huston's WD also earned Rutledge a spot in the Legends Division with Gary Hallberg. Contacted Thursday afternoon, Bryant drove from his home in Orlando and arrived late that evening never having seen the golf course. After sitting through the start of the Legends Division and the possibility of another withdrawal which would have moved him to the Legends Division, Bryant finally joined Baker-Finch at the start of the Raphael Division.
The winning team will each receive a check for $230,000 as well as 230 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. Bernhard Langer, a two-time winner this year, including a victory at last week's Greater Gwinnett Championship, leads that race with 925 points, 309 in front of David Frost. Langer also sits atop the money list with $947,779 and should go over the $1 million mark in earnings on Sunday for the fifth time in six full seasons on the Champions Tour.
Roger Chapman will be playing in the final grouping for the third consecutive event. He finished T10 at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic and T13 in the Greater Gwinnett Championship.
In addition to Jay Don Blake and Roger Chapman shooting an 11-under-par 61 on Saturday, Scott Hoch and teammate Jim Gallagher, Jr., also posted a 61. In the Raphael Division, Dana Quigley and Jim Thorpe fired a 61.
In the last four years, the second-round leaders have failed to go on to win the event. The last team to lead after two rounds and win the event was Andy North and Tom Watson in 2008.
Brad Faxon and Jeff Sluman have birdied all eight par-5 holes through the first two rounds, the only team to have done so.
Tom Watson and Andy North have made 19 birdies through the first two rounds to lead all players in that category. Twelve of those birdies have come on the par-4 holes.
Should the team of Andy North and Tom Watson win on Sunday, Watson would be the oldest winner of a Champions Tour event at age 63 years, 7 months and 24 days. Mike Fetchick holds the current mark at 63 years to the day when he claimed the 1985 Hilton Head Senior Invitational in nearby Hilton Head, SC.
Hole No. 18 was the most difficult in the second round (4.061). There were just three birdies along with 25 pars. Five teams made bogey on the hole in the Legends Division, 28 made par and four made bogeys. The easiest hole was again No. 11 with two eagles and 27 birdies.