Categorized | Golf, Sports

2012 Mitsubishi Championship second round highlights


* Jan. 20-22 at Kaupulehu, Hualalai Golf Course
Charles Schwab Cup points: 307
Purse: $1,800,000
Par/Yards: 36-36—72/7,107

Weather: Sunny with highs in the low-80s and winds from the SW in the afternoon at 10-15 mph.

Dan Forsman birdied the final two holes to shoot a bogey-free 65 and take a two-stroke lead over Brad Bryant, Tom Watson and Jeff Sluman into Sundayy’s final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, the Champions Tour’s first event of the 2012 season.

After making par on the first six holes on Saturday, Forsman caught fire, scattering seven birdies over the remainder of his round, including six on the back nine. He needed just 21 total putts overall. Bryant had the field’s low round on Saturday, posting an 8-under 64 early in the day.

Round 2 Leaderboard: 1) Dan Forsman/132 (-12); T2) Brad Bryant, Jeff Sluman & Tom Watson/134 (-10); T5) Michael Allen & Jay Haas/135 (-9)

Dan Forsman’s score of 12-under-par 132 is the highest 36-hole total to lead the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai since Tom Kite was at 12-under after two rounds in 2002. In the last 11 years, the champion’s average winning score has been 21 under par.

Saturday marks just the third time that Dan Forsman has held a Saturday lead on the Champions Tour. In 2010, Forsman led the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open after two rounds and went on to finish T3 in Endicott, NY. At the 2009 Administaff Small Business Classic near Houston, Forsman was the 36-hole leader and finished T4. The last time Forsman has led going into the final round and won was at the 1990 Shearson Lehman Hutton Open on the PGA TOUR.

In the previous 28 Mitsubishi Electric Championships, the Saturday leader/co-leader has gone on to win 17 times. However, in the last eight years at Hualalai, only Hale Irwin (2007) and Tom Watson (2010) managed to lead on Saturday and eventually prevail. Last year, John Cook trailed Russ Cochran by three strokes after 36 holes, but shot 64 in the final round and defeated Tom Lehman by two.

The winner of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai will receive 307 Charles Schwab Cup points in the season-long Schwab Cup race. Last year, Tom Lehman held off Mark Calcavecchia by 74 points to earn his first Schwab Cup.

Dan Forsman is shooting for his third career title on the Champions Tour and first win since the 2010 Regions Charity Classic. He finished T16 last year at Hualalai and T25 in his first trip to the Big Island in 2010. Forsman only had one top-10 finish last year and that was a T4 at the Montreal Championship.

There are only 10 players with a pair of sub-70 scores thus far in the 2012 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. In the last 11 years at this venue, no winner of the event has had a round in the 70s.

The tournament winner has come from the last pairing in five of the last six years with John Cook’s victory from the third-to-last group last year being the exception.

62-year-old Tom Watson shot a bogey-free 65 Saturday and has put himself in position to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai for the second time in three years. Should Watson prevail tomorrow, he would surpass his own record of becoming the third oldest winner in Champions Tour history at 62 years, 4 months, 18 days. Last year when he won the Senior PGA Championship, Watson became the third oldest winner in Champions Tour annals at 61 years, 9 months, 25 days. He has the most career top-10 finishes at this event history with eight.

With similar conditions to Friday, only 19 of the 41 players in the field shot scores in the 60s Saturday vs. 23 sub-70 scores in Round 1. Through two rounds this year, there have been 19 eagles and 336 birdies made. At the 2011 event through 36 holes, there were 18 eagles and 386 birdies made. The field stroke average Saturday was 69.512 vs. 69.610 on Friday. The cumulative stroke average for the first two rounds this year is 69.561 vs. 68.880 last year.

Through the first two rounds, there have been just two birdies made at the par-4 15th hole and both came in Saturday’s round (Denis Watson, Mark McNulty). The hole has a stroke average of 4.268. Through the first 36 holes, no player in the field has made a bogey at the par-5 10th hole (4.146) and it’s given up 10 eagles and 50 birdies.

Loren Roberts, a champion at Hualalai in 2006, ran his streak of consecutive sub-par rounds to 20 straight with a 2-under 70 Saturday. It was only his third score ever in the 70s at Hualalai.

Olin Browne became the first player with two eagles in a round this year. Browne eagled both the par-5 (7th & 10th) holes. Last year en route to winning the U.S. Senior Open, Browne made a pair of eagles on Thursday at Inverness. Tom Lehman and Loren Roberts are the only other players with two eagles over the first 36 holes.

Statistically Speaking: Bob Gilder has missed just two fairways in the first two rounds (26/28-92.86%)…Russ Cochran and David Eger have both hit 28/36 greens in regulation (86.11%)…David Frost and Tom Watson have totaled only 51 putts…Dan Forsman has the most birdies (13) and both he and David Eger have only made one bogey thus far.

Quote Of The Day

“Hualalai is one of the most lovely spots in the world. Golf is almost a bonus here. There’s a lot to being able to spend time on this island and be a part of it.” — Tom Watson who owns a home of the Hualalai property

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