SECOND ROUND NOTES:
2019 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship
Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio
Friday, July 12, 2019
Course Setup: Par 70 / 7,032 yards (R2 average: 72.526, Cumulative: 72.874)
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high in the low 80s. Wind from the NNW at 5-10 mph.
TOP SCORES AFTER ROUND 2:
Player To Par Scores
1. Retief Goosen -9 69-62—131
T2. Brandt Jobe -6 69-65—134
T2. Steve Stricker -6 64-70—134
T4. Kent Jones -3 70-67—137
T4. Tommy Tolles -3 70-67—137
T4. Jay Haas -3 69-68—137
Saturday TV Coverage: Golf Channel 3-6 p.m. ET
Retief Goosen, 69-62—131 (-9)
Goosen, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last month, posted one eagle and six birdies for an 8-under 62 on Friday to reach 9-under for the week, three clear of Steve Stricker and Brandt Jobe heading into weekend play at Firestone Country Club.
Goosen’s 62 ties the tournament record. Olin Browne (2012) and Fred Couples (2013) both shot 8-under at Fox Chapel in Pittsburgh.
The 62 marked a career-low for Goosen on PGA TOUR Champions and tied his career low on the PGA TOUR (10-under 62, 2002 WGC-American Express Championship; 8-under 62, 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii).
The South African, who turned 50 on February 3 of this year, entered the week at No. 16 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings with three top-10 finishes to his name, including a playoff loss to Jerry Kelly at the American Family Insurance Championship (Stricker was the third member of the playoff).
This marks the first overnight lead of Goosen’s PGA TOUR Champions career. His prior best 36-hole standing was T3 at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in May, where he wound up finishing solo-fourth.
Goosen won seven times during his PGA TOUR career, including the 2004 TOUR Championship and U.S. Open titles in 2001 and 2004. He also won The International in 2007, where he beat Jobe by one point in the Modified Stableford scoring format.
During his PGA TOUR career, Goosen held at least a share of the 36-hole lead 11 times, converting two of those into victories – including the 2001 U.S. Open.
Steve Stricker, 64-70—134 (-6)
After birdieing the par-4 18th on Friday morning to finish up a first-round 64, Steve Stricker notched two birdies and two bogeys in the afternoon for a second-round 70.
Winner of the Regions Tradition and U.S. Senior Open, Stricker is looking to become the fourth player to win three majors in one season on PGA TOUR Champions (Gary Player/1988, Jack Nicklaus/1991, Bernhard Langer/2017).
With his win at the U.S. Senior Open, Stricker earned a spot in the 2020 U.S. Open. Should he win this week, he would be exempt into the 2020 PLAYERS Championship, where in 21 career starts, he has just one top-10.
In eight starts on PGA TOUR Champions this season, Stricker has two wins and five top-10s and is currently No. 2 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
Stricker had four top-10s in nine starts at Firestone on the PGA TOUR. He had a 69.69 scoring average and 19 of his 36 rounds were in the 60s (best: 64, R4/2012 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational).
Brandt Jobe, 69-65—134 (-6)
Jobe, who played 10 holes on Friday morning to finish a first-round 69, posted 5-under 65 in the afternoon to finish 36 holes at 6-under 134.
The former UCLA golfer entered the week at No. 21 in the Charles Schwab Cup with four top-10 finishes in 2019. Jobe picked up his lone PGA TOUR Champions win at the 2017 Principal Charity Classic during a breakout season in which he wound up ninth in the final Schwab Cup standings.
This week marks Jobe’s 17th career start in a senior major championship. In his prior 16 starts, he has eight top-10 finishes, including top-five efforts in each of the last three Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championships. Jobe finished T2 at the event’s 2017 edition, finishing one shot shy of former UCLA teammate Scott McCarron after bogeying the 71st hole.
During his PGA TOUR career, Jobe recorded four runner-up finishes, including the second-place result at the
2007 International as well as a runner-up to Stricker at the 2011 Memorial Tournament.
Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship Notes
Goosen and Stricker are looking to become the 10th player in tournament history to win in their debut. The other nine are: Miller Barber (1983), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986), Jack Nicklaus (1990), Jim Albus (1991), Dave Stockton (1992), Craig Stadler (2003), Mark James (2004), Peter Jacobsen (2005) and Joe Daley (2012).
Four players inside the top 10 are looking to earn their first PGA TOUR Champions title this week in Akron (Goosen, Kent Jones, Tommy Tolles, Tim Petrovic). Seven players recorded their first senior title at this event: Chi Chi Rodriguez (1986), Jim Albus (1991), Dave Stockton (1992), Stewart Ginn (2002), Craig Stadler (2003), Mark James (2004) and Joe Daley (2012). David Toms (2018 U.S. Senior Open) was the last player to earn his first Tour title at a major.
From 2015-2018, 25 different players earned their inaugural wins on PGA TOUR Champions. Thus far in 2019, every single event has been won by a player with a prior win on Tour. In the history of PGA TOUR Champions, there has never been a season without at least one first-time winner.
Second-Round Lead Notes
This season, a second-round leader/co-leader has won nine out of 15 tournaments on PGA TOUR Champions. The last 36-hole leader to win the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS was Bernhard Langer when he went wire-to-wire in 2015.
The 36-hole leader/co-leader has won seven of the last 12 senior majors:
o Steve Stricker, 2019 U.S. Senior Open
o Steve Stricker, 2019 Regions Tradition
o Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2018 Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex
o Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2018 Regions Tradition
o Bernhard Langer, 2017 Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex
o Kenny Perry, 2017 U.S. Senior Open
o Bernhard Langer, 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
Kent Jones posted rounds of 70-67—137 (-3) to sit T4 through 36 holes of play. The 52-year-old finished third at PGA TOUR Champions Q-School in 2017 (after finishing 11th in 2016) to secure his card for the 2018 season. Jones made the most of his opportunity, recording five top-10s – including two in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs – to finish 26th in the final Schwab Cup standings in order to retain his status for 2019.
Tommy Tolles matched Jones’ 36-hole effort with rounds of 70-67—137 (-3). The Flat Rock, North Carolina, native is making just his ninth start of the year on PGA TOUR Champions and has yet to record a single top-30 finish. Tolles won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.com Tour) during his career, but never won on the PGA TOUR. He finished runner-up in the 1996 PLAYERS Championship and recorded three top-five finishes in majors between 1996 and 1997, including a third-place effort at the 1997 Masters when Tiger Woods notched his breakthrough victory.
Jay Haas, who will be 65 years, 7 months and 12 days on Sunday, is T4 entering the weekend and looking to become the oldest winner in PGA TOUR Champions history. Oldest winners in history:
o Scott Hoch, (63 years, 5 months, 4 days), 2019 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
o Mike Fetchick, (63 years to the day), 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational
o Jay Haas, (62 years, 10 months, 7 days), 2016 Hoag Classic
Glen Day recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3 fifth with a 5-iron from 186 yards on Friday. It marked Day’s second career hole-in-one on PGA TOUR Champions (2017 Rapiscan Systems Classic). Along with Stricker’s hole-in-one on Thursday, there are now six aces on Tour this season. Stricker birdied the par-3 seventh on Friday to officially play the hole in three strokes over the last two days.
Defending champion Vijay Singh is T11 after rounds of 70-70—140 (even). Singh is looking to become the first player since Scott McCarron at the 2018 Shaw Charity Classic to successfully defend a title on PGA TOUR Champions.
Bernhard Langer, the only three-time winner of the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, followed up a first-round 76 with a 2-over 72 on Friday. In 11 career starts in this event, he has finished inside the top 10 nine times, but has never finished outside the top 20. He’s currently T49 entering the weekend.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Colin Montgomerie, who opened the week with a 2-under 68, recorded 17 pars and one bogey on Friday for a second-round 71 to enter the weekend T9. While he never won on the PGA TOUR, Montgomerie has notched six wins on PGA TOUR Champions since turning 50, but none since the 2017 SAS Championship. In nine career starts at Firestone Country Club via the World Golf Championships event, Montgomerie posted three top-10 finishes, including a career-best fourth-place effort in 2001.
Tommy Armour, III, withdrew during the second round with a neck injury.
– notes courtesy of PGA TOUR Media