Following two rain filled days of play, the Constellation Senior Players had a dry day as the remainder of the second in addition to the third round were played.
Fred Couples had some late round heroics both in his second and third round, allowing him to hold a two stroke lead over a dialed in Kenny Perry.
“Well, it seems like I did it all on the last five holes to push ahead again,” Couples said. “I went out this morning and hit the ball solid … I just kind of felt like maybe the greens were faster than they were and it dried out a little bit and I just didn’t really have much pace, but I didn’t hit the ball close, either.”
Perry meanwhile was a model of consistency. After a disappointing first round that resulted in a one over par 71, all Perry has done is catapult himself into second place at -13 for the tournament. This was accomplished by scoring seven under par for both of the past two rounds.
“I got off to a great start this morning, had five holes to play and I started birdie-birdie-eagle right out of the gate, drove it on the seventh hole and made a nice putt for eagle and ended — then I birdied the ninth hole, which was my eighteenth, to shoot 63 and then just continued with the roll, just played nice and steady,” Perry said.
Perry was in a similar position earlier this year at the Senior PGA Championship, when he held the lead, but one thing has certainly changed since then; his health. At the event, Perry was dealing with a knee injury however he had a cortisone shot that prevented him from potentially having a torn meniscus.
“It physically hurts me to put — the bending and putting my weight on it and just the striding process is what killed me,” Perry said. “I had a lot of pain just to walk. I was struggling walking. I could hit the ball fine. Just getting to the ball, it was always in my head all day. The last two weeks I’m pain free, it’s been a miracle.”
Also among the leaders are Duffy Waldorf who is four strokes off the lead, while both Mike Goodes and John Huston are each five shots behind.
With rain expected to be in the forecast tomorrow, tee times for the final round have been moved up to 7:30-9:40 with players starting their rounds on either the first or tenth tee. Fans are encouraged to bring a coat or or windbreaker.
Following his round, Perry told reporters that a low round will be needed to win tomorrow as the course conditions have changed due to the rain.
“I think the scores will be really good,” Perry said. “The greens are really soft, they’re very spongy. There’s not enough time to dry them out and get them firm, so you’re going to see still a lot of good scores tomorrow. So the guys that are near the lead, at the lead are going to have to play a good round of golf. Somebody’s going to shoot a good round tomorrow.
Colin Montgomerie -3
Rocco Mediate -2
John Cook -1
Joe Daley -1
Of note: Perry’s two round total of 126 [63 63] is the lowest consecutive score ever. Jack Nicklaus 128 [64 64 1990] held the previous record.
Amey Fink also contributed to this report