Scott McCarron eagles 18th to take 2-shot lead in Calgary
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Scott McCarron eagled the par-5 18th for a 6-under 64 and a two-stroke lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Shaw Charity Classic.
McCarron also eagled the closing hole Friday at Canyon Meadows in an opening 63. He Saturday, he holed a 30-footer after teeing off with a 3-wood and hitting a 4-iron from 249 yards.
“I’m kind of a ham, so we’ve got huge grandstands there, everybody one’s waving the towels, which is a lot of fun, makes for a great environment,” McCarron said. “I love coming up here. I love the fans. They really enjoy golf, they enjoy good golf.”
First-round leader Kevin Sutherland, McCarron’s childhood rival in Sacramento, California, was tied for second with Miguel Angel Jimenez. Sutherland followed his opening 62 with a 67, and Jimenez shot 65.
McCarron has three victories this year and five in the last two seasons on the 50-and-over tour. The three-time PGA Tour winner won the Allianz Championship in February, the major Senior Players Championship in July and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open two weeks ago.
“It doesn’t get easier but I feel very confident in what I’m doing,” McCarron said. “I’ve worked very hard to get my game to where it is. I’ve been very comfortable in the lead, near the lead, with the lead, behind, coming back, so this is, for me, it’s just another day to go out there and hit the first fairway. After that, then hit the green, then make a putt. Really try to keep it as simple as that.”
Scott Dunlap and Todd Hamilton were three strokes back at 10 under after 66s.
Nick Faldo had a 64 to join Jerry Kelly and Bob Estes at 9 under.
“I haven’t shot 64 in whatever, a long time,” Faldo said. “It was nice to feel I could go for it, that was the goal for coming here and playing. I’ve been working on enough things that it’s just putting it to test, so that was really great, a really nice day.”
The six-time major champion is now a television analyst.
“I hit balls, but I hardly play and I sit on my butt in the TV tower,” Faldo said.
Kelly, coming off his first senior title last week in the Boeing Classic in Washington, and Estes each shot 65.
Jimenez successfully defended his Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic title in April for his fourth Champions title. The Spaniard shot a 61 in 2015 at Canyon Meadows to match Fred Couples’ course record.
“I played very, very solid, very nice,” Jimenez said. “I gave myself a lot of chances for birdies, only happened five times, but that’s the game, no? Very solid. Happy for tomorrow.”
Winless on the 50-and-over tour, Sutherland finished second behind McCarron two weeks ago in New York in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open — the event where Sutherland shot a tour-record 59 three years ago. Sutherland’s lone PGA Tour victory came in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final.