2014 SAS Championship
(the 23rd of 26 Charles Schwab Cup events on the 2014 Champions Tour)
Cary, NC October 10-12, 2014
Purse: $2,100,000 ($315,000/winner; 315 Charles Schwab Cup points)
Prestonwood Country Club Par/Yards: 72/7,212
Weather: After 7/10 of an inch of rain fell overnight, sunny skies for most of the day on Saturday with highs in the mid-70s and winds from the WSW 7-14 mph, higher gusts. Temperatures were in the upper 70s. Lift, clean and place rules in effect.
Position Name Score
1. Kirk Triplett 70-63—133 (-11)
T2. Paul Goydos 68-67—135 (-9)
Tom Lehman 67-68—135 (-9)
T4. Guy Boros 66-70—136 (-8)
Fred Funk 72-64—136 (-8)
Kirk Triplett’s birdie-eagle finish to his second round propelled him to a two-stroke lead over Paul Goydos and Tom Lehman after 36 holes of the SAS Championship. Triplett’s bogey-free, 9-under-par 63 on Saturday featured seven birdies, including a two-putt birdie from 40 feet at the par-5 17th, and he then closed his round in style, holing an 8-iron second shot from 143 yards for an eagle at the par-4 18th hole. Goydos (67) and Lehman (68) also finished strongly on Saturday. With skies darkening late in the day, Goydos, a recent winner at the Pacific Links Hawai’i Championship, birdied his final three holes to move within two strokes of Triplett. Lehman birdied two of his last three holes to tie Goydos.
Kirk Triplett (70-63—133/-11)
Matched the lowest second-round score in SAS Championship history and carded the second-best score of his Champions Tour career (62-2012 Principal Charity Classic/Rd. 3). His previous-best score at Prestonwood was 67 twice in 2013.
Making his third appearance at the SAS Championship and finished third last year after trailing Russ Cochran, the eventual winner in 2013, by two strokes after 36 holes.
Triplett is seeking his fourth career win on the Champions Tour and second title this year. In addition to winning back-to-back Nature Valley First Tee Opens at Pebble Beach in 2012-13, Triplett captured The ACE Group Classic in Naples earlier this year, defeating Bernhard Langer, Olin Browne and Duffy Waldorf by a stroke.
Won three times on the PGA TOUR (2000 Nissan Open, 2003 Reno-Tahoe Open, 2006 Chrysler Classic of Tucson) and also became the oldest winner on the Web.com Tour when he claimed the 2011 News Sentinel Open in Knoxville at 49 years, 4 months, 25 days.
Today marks the first time Triplett has held sole possession of a Saturday lead on the Champions Tour. In Naples earlier this year, he was tied for the 36-hole lead at The ACE Group Classic with Bernhard Langer.
Triplett’s stats for the first 36 holes: Fairways: 26/30 (T3); Greens Hit: 31/36 (T3); Putts: 58 (T20)
Second-Round Notes/Statistics at the SAS Championship
Kirk Triplett’s two-stroke lead after 36 holes marks the second straight year the SAS Championship leader has been up by that margin. Russ Cochran led Triplett, Bernhard Langer and David Frost by two strokes last year and eventually won by one stroke.
A total of four of the top-five names on the leaderboard have already won a tournament this year and Kirk Triplett (ACE Group Classic), Paul Goydos (Pacific Links Hawaii Championship), Tom Lehman (Encompass Championship) and Fred Funk (Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf/w Jeff Sluman) are seeking to become the fifth multiple winner on the Champions Tour in 2014. Rookie Guy Boros, the first-round leader, carded a 2-under 70 today and is T4 along with Funk.
A total of 315 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race will go to the winner on Sunday. Bernhard Langer (currently T9) leads the race with 3,624 points, followed by Colin Montgomerie (currently T12) with 2,991 points, a margin of 633 points. Both players made big moves in the standings today. Langer jumped 34 spots with his 7-under 65 while Montgomerie carded a 6-under 66 and moved up 31 spots.
In the previous 13 SAS Championships, eight second-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win the event (Bruce Lietzke/2001, Craig Stadler/2004, Tom Jenkins/2006, Mark Wiebe/2007, Tom Pernice, Jr./2009, Kenny Perry/2011, and Russ Cochran/2013). Saturday leaders/co-leaders have won 13 of the previous 22 Champions Tour events in 2014.
The winner of this tournament has come from the final grouping nine times in 13 years, including eight of the last nine years. There has never been a playoff in the previous 13 years.
Through the first two rounds of the SAS Championship, the most difficult hole has been the par-4 16th (4.093) yielding 21 birdies. The par-5 17th hole has been the easiest (4.540), giving up three eagles and 78 birdies.
Here’s a comparison of the scoring averages at Prestonwood from Round 1/Round 2 over the last two years:
|| Round 1
|| Sub-Par Rds.
Triplett’s 13 birdies are the most by a player in the field this week through the first two rounds…Tom Lehman has just made one bogey over the first two rounds…Both Fred Funk and Billy Andrade have birdied five of the six par-5 opportunities over the first two rounds this week…Andrade’s two-under 70 today extended his streak of par/better rounds to 20 straight, the third longest current streak on the Champions Tour. Jay Haas has a current run of 30 consecutive par/better scores…Mark O’Meara again didn’t have three-putt today and extended his current run of holes without a three-putt to 203 consecutive, the longest current run of holes without a three-putt.
Joe Daley withdrew during the round with a back injury.