Friday, July 27, 2012

HALLBERG PRODUCES ROUND OF THE YEAR TO BE HALFWAY LEADER AT SENIOR OPEN

SENIOR OPEN REPORT BY EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS
American Gary Hallberg produced what Bernhard Langer called ‘the round of the year’ to take a three shot lead over the German and Tom Lehman at the halfway mark of The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex.
In testing windy conditions at Turnberry, Hallberg, picture by courtesy of Getty Images(c), fired a course record-equalling seven under par 63 for a six under par total of 134.
The 54 year old’s second round was all the more remarkable considering he was five over par through 13 holes on Thursday after taking 40 shots to cover the front nine, before four birdies in the last five holes salvaged a respectable first round of 71.
After his only bogey of the day on the second hole, Hallberg, a three-time winner on the US PGA Tour, climbed 48 places up the leaderboard, carding an impressive eight birdies in 13 holes.
Playing in the third group to take to the Ailsa Course on Friday morning, when winds were somewhat less prominent than later in the day, Hallberg recovered from an early bogey  when he three putted from the front edge of the green, carding a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth to the seventh holes to make the turn in 33 shots. He then started the back nine with further birdies at the tenth and par three 11th.
Another birdie followed at the 13th, before Hallberg carded perhaps his most impressive three of the day at the 14th.
Having missed the green to the right, one of his only errant shots of the day, Hallberg holed his 40 foot birdie putt from off the green before an eighth birdie of the day at the long 17th helped seal a memorable day for the 1980 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
“When I was five over on the first day after nine holes I thought, I'm not playing that bad,” Hallberg reflected. “I was playing good but I just couldn't get it going. So I hung in there and played a great back nine; I think the 40 helped me because it turned me around mentally to go play aggressively.
“So I played aggressively today, had some great putts go in but I also missed some putts from around six, seven feet today but you can't make them all. It was one of the great days that I've had in many years on the golf course. It was just a pleasure.”
Hallberg will be joined in the final pairing on Saturday by his close friend Lehman, the 1996 Open Champion, whose only birdie of the day came on the 17th hole in a round of 71.
“I don't think you're ever happy in golf when you shoot the worst score you can possibly shoot, which was the case yesterday,” he said.  But you're always really pleased in golf when you seem to shoot the best score you can possibly shoot and that was more the case today. I made a few mistakes out there but by and large, I really got the most I could get out of that round and I am really pleased.”
Lehman shares second place on three under par 137 and with another former World Number One, Langer, who followed his opening round 64 with a three over par 73 in the worst of the conditions in the late afternoon.
Langer was the last man to win The Senior Open Championship on Scottish soil at Carnoustie in 2010, and he remains in a strong position to reclaim the title despite losing a ball en route to a treble bogey seven on the 13th hole.
The two-time Masters Champion paid tribute to Hallberg’s sublime round.
“I think that's the round of the year,” said Langer.  “When I heard that before I started I said, well, that's seven under today, that's like ten or 11 under on a normal, decent day.  That's how good it was.  My hat's off to him.  He played some incredible golf.”
Roger Chapman has been forced to withdraw from The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex due to a neck injury, putting paid to his attempt to become only the second man after Gary Player to complete a Senior Major Grand Slam.
After battling through the pain to contest in a fairy tale three-ball with Tom Watson and Greg Norman in Thursday’s first round, Chapman, who two weeks ago added the US Senior Open crown to the US Senior PGA Championship he won in May, was understandably saddened at having his historic bid derailed.
“I’m just so disappointed because history beckoned and I would love to have equalled Gary Player’s record and I felt like I could have done well round here,” said the Englishman.
“There was so much riding on it but at least I had a shot at doing something.  It's just too bad.  I had a painkiller and an injection about an hour ago and that really hasn't kicked in much, I’m still restricted on the swing.”
Chapman worked hard on Thursday to complete a two over par 72 despite being in some discomfort, but the experience of playing with legendary figures Watson and Norman was one the 53 year old said he wouldn’t forget as he highlighted his new season targets after the withdrawal.
It was great.  We were chatting down the fairway, it was just like a Sunday morning three-ball! There’s still a lot to play for for me this year, I still want to win the Order of Merit over here, and wouldn't mind winning the Order of Merit over there too.”

Next up for Chapman is the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in two weeks’ time, a tournament he qualified for after the first of his Senior Major successes earlier this year when he captured the US Senior PGA at Harbor Shores in Michigan.
Gary Player remains the only man ever to have won the US Senior PGA Championship, US Senior Open, and The Senior Open Championship in the same season, having completed the extraordinary feat in 1988.

SECOND-ROUND TOTALS 
Par 140 (2x70)
134 G Hallberg (USA) 71 63,
137 T Lehman (USA) 66 71, B Langer (Ger) 64 73,
139 D Mast (USA) 66 73, D Frost (RSA) 66 73, P Senior (Aus) 68 71, J Blake (USA) 66 73,
140 F Couples (USA) 72 68, P Fowler (Aus) 68 72, M Allen (USA) 66 74, M McNulty (Irl) 65 75,
141 M Wiebe (USA) 70 71, M Brooks (USA) 70 71, B Lane (Eng) 67 74, B Clampett (USA) 70 71, I Woosnam (Wal) 71 70, J Cook (USA) 69 72,
142 A Gilligan (Aus) 69 73, M Goodes (USA) 69 73, J Huston (USA) 70 72, E Romero (Arg) 68 74, O Browne (USA) 69 73, C Pavin (USA) 70 72, B Ruangkit (Tha) 69 73, D Russell (Eng) 69 73,
 143 C Mason (Eng) 69 74, M Mouland (Wal) 71 72, F Funk (USA) 69 74, C Lu (Tpe) 66 77, L Roberts (USA) 68 75, K Triplett (USA) 69 74, A Forsbrand (Swe) 71 72, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 70 73,
 144 P Jonas (Can) 73 71, R Drummond (Sco) 70 74, D Eger (USA) 74 70, T Watson (USA) 69 75, C Williams (RSA) 71 73, M Calcavecchia (USA) 72 72,
 145 K Spurgeon (Eng) 72 73, L Rinker (USA) 67 78, P Hinton (Eng) 70 75, T Thelen (USA) 73 72, J Hart (USA) 69 76, K Idoki (Jpn) 69 76, J Freeman (USA) 71 74, R Loubser  (RSA) 74 71, L Mize (USA) 71 74, P Wesselingh (Eng) 69 76, D Smyth (Irl) 75 70, M Farry (Fra) 71 74, P Golding (Eng) 70 75,
 146 A Franco (Par) 73 73, J Sluman (USA) 70 76, B Gilder (USA) 72 74, S Pate (USA) 71 75, R Spittle (Can) 72 74, J Edwards (USA) 69 77, J Ross (USA) 75 71, C Lutz (am) (USA) 70 76,
147 T Elliott (Aus) 71 76, D Merriman (Aus) 70 77, M Adcock (USA) 73 74, S Okuda (Jpn) 73 74, T Kite (USA) 74 73, J Quiros (Esp) 71 76, J Haas (USA) 73 74, J Harrison (Eng) 73 74, A Murray (Eng) 69 78,
148 M James (Eng) 74 74, N Ratcliffe (Aus) 72 76, M Cunning (USA) 73 75, B Longmuir (Sco) 71 77, D O'Sullivan (Irl) 76 72, M San Filippo (USA) 72 76, R Haag (am) (USA) 74 74,
MISSED THE CUT
149 B Tway (USA) 69 80, G Brand Jnr (Sco) 75 74, G Norman (Aus) 72 77, S Torrance (Sco) 73 76, A Magee (USA) 71 78, Y Hagawa (Jpn) 73 76, T Eubank (USA) 77 72, A Oldcorn (Sco) 72 77, A Sherborne (Eng) 71 78, P Walton (Irl) 73 76, G Brand (Eng) 72 77, T Johnstone (Zim) 67 82, P Mitchell (Eng) 74 75, M Martin (Esp) 74 75,
150 C Stadler (USA) 70 80, S Lyle (Sco) 72 78, B Lincoln (RSA) 73 77, S Jones (USA) 74 76, E Darcy (Irl) 76 74, J Rutledge (Can) 72 78, B Faxon (USA) 71 79, C Beck (USA) 69 81,
151 S Utley (USA) 72 79, M Harwood (Aus) 74 77, R Fish (Eng) 76 75, K Phillips (Eng) 78 73, R Gibson (Can) 70 81, G Norquist (USA) 71 80, G Ralph (Eng) 75 76,
 152 J Rivero (Esp) 79 73, P Smith (Sco) 72 80, J Sallat (Fra) 71 81, S McAllister (Sco) 75 77, I Aoki (Jpn) 73 79, J Kim (Kor) 74 78, R Roper (Eng) 72 80, A Fernandez (Chi) 74 78, S East (am) (Eng) 72 80,
 153 M McCumber (USA) 75 78, D Cole (Aus) 78 75, D Edwards (USA) 72 81, M Mackenzie (Eng) 72 81, T Armour Iii (USA) 70 83, B Vaughan (USA) 76 77, F Wadsworth (USA) 73 80, C Rocca (Ita) 76 77,
 154 R Davis (Aus) 77 77, R Masters (Eng) 75 79,
 155 S Cipa (Eng) 76 79, D Kestner (USA) 73 82, A Webster (Sco) 77 78, B Cameron (Eng) 78 77, J Buendia (Esp) 76 79,
 156 P Oakley (USA) 73 83,
 157 C Elliott (Sco) 77 80, S McNally (Eng) 77 80, W Grady (Aus) 77 80, C Bolling  (USA) 77 80, G Banister (Aus) 70 87,
 158 W Westner (RSA) 73 85,
 159 D Wettlaufer (Can) 76 83, J Daley (USA) 78 81,
 160 N Sugai (Jpn) 79 81, N Job (Eng) 79 81,
 161 R Kaplan (RSA) 74 87,
 163 T Jacklin (Eng) 80 83,
 167 B Stevens (Eng) 79 88,
 ** R Chapman (Eng) 72 WD,

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