Lyle, Woosnam go on birdie binge to take lead in Bass Pro Shop Legends of Golf

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Former Masters champions Sandy Lyle (Scotland) and Ian Woosnam (Wales) birdied five of the last six holes at the Buffalo Ridge Springs Course to shoot a better-ball, 6-under-par, 64 on Saturday. The former European Ryder Cup teammates stand at 13-under 111 through 36 holes, good enough for a two-stroke lead over former UCLA Bruin teammates Corey Pavin and Duffy Waldorf and first-round leaders John Cook and Joey Sindelar. Cook/Sindelar maintained their advantage early in their second round at Top of the Rock thanks to birdies on the 5th and 6th holes in the modified alternate-shot format. However, trailing Lyle/Woosnam by one, they made a double-bogey on the 15th hole when both players found the water off the tee. The former Ohio State Buckeye teammates closed on a high note when Sindelar birdied the last hole from 16 feet. 

Both Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam joined the Champions Tour in 2008 and their career-best finishes on the circuit to this point came at the 2008 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf when they finished T3 together in Savannah. This week, Lyle is making his 108th career start on the Champions Tour while Woosnam is making his 35th start. Andy North (2000), Tom Lehman (2009) and Mark O’Meara (2010) all claimed their first career wins on the Champions Tour at this event.

Despite playing a modified alternate-shot format at Top of the Rock this year, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam’s leading 36-hole score of 13-under 111 is two strokes higher than Jay Haas/Peter Jacobsen’s score of 15-under 110 in the Champions Division. 

Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam’s two-stroke lead after play on Saturday is the largest after 36 holes in this event since 2008 when Andy North and Tom Watson led for four shots. The biggest come-from-behind win in the Champions Division is four strokes – Julius Boros/Robert De Vicenzo (1979) and David Eger/Mark McNulty (2011). 

Second-round leaders have not had much luck closing the deal recently at the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf event. Over the last six years, only one team leading after the first two days has gone on to victory (Michael Allen/David Frost in 2012).

Jeff Sluman, one half of the winning team in 2014, partnered with Tom Lehman to shoot 5-under-par 49, the lowest round at Top of the Rock today in the Champions Division. The score allowed Sluman/Lehman to move up into a T4 and gives Sluman a legitimate shot to become the first player to claim three straight Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf titles with three different partners. Sluman had teamed with Brad Faxon to win in 2012 and Fred Funk a year ago. However, due to Funk’s uncertainly prior to the event with an elbow injury, Sluman teamed with Lehman, a former winner in this event with Bernhard Langer, who is not competing in this year event due to scheduling issues.   

Bruce Fleisher and Larry Nelson have a 36-hole score of 11-under 113 and lead the Legends Division after two days. The duo are four strokes in front of the World Golf Hall of Fame team of Jack Nicklaus/Gary Player and Butch Baird/Al Geiberger. Fleisher/Nelson posted a 4-under 66 in windy conditions at Buffalo Ridge today while Nicklaus/Player made birdie on the last three holes to also shoot 66 in the best-ball format at Buffalo Ridge. Last year, Fleisher/Nelson were tied after two days with Jim Colbert/Jim Thorpe at 7-under 118 and they eventually finished three strokes back of Colbert/Thorpe. The winners will split $120,000.

Olin Browne, the current Charles Schwab Cup leader, is currently T27 with partner Steve Pate after 36 holes this week while Bart Bryant, currently 12 points back of Browne in the Schwab Cup race, is in 25th position in the Champions Division with brother Brad. Each member of the winning team at the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf will earn 230 Charles Schwab Cup points.

After just two eagles on Friday at Buffalo Ridge, there was only one made in Round 2 and that was by the Bobby Wadkins/Bob Gilder team.

Through the first 36 holes in the Champions Division, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam have made the most birdies (15). Mark O’Meara and Colin Montgomerie have 14 birdies. Bob Gilder and Bobby Wadkins have not made a bogey.

Tommy Armour III and Jesper Parnevik made the biggest move by a team in the Champions Division, posting a better-ball, 7-under, 63 at Buffalo Ridge to jump 17 spots into a T12.

Final-round play kicks off tomorrow with the Legends Division starting at 7:20 a.m. The Champions Division will start play at 8:30 a.m.


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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source

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