Scott McCarron and Canada’s Stephen Ames each shot a 5-under-par 66 Friday to share the lead after two rounds of the Senior PGA Championship at Benton Harbor, Mich.
At 8 under through 36 holes, the co-leaders were two shots ahead of Brian Gay (68 on Friday), Germany’s Bernhard Langer (68), New Zealand’s Steven Alker (72) and Canadian Mike Weir (71).
McCarron found a way to make eight birdies, counteracting three bogeys on a rainy, windy day at Harbor Shores Resort.
“Weather, we teed off, and it was not too bad, 60 (degrees), and then we got to the third hole and I think it dropped 10 or 15 degrees,” McCarron said. “It was crazy.”
McCarron bogeyed the par-4 third hole after opening with two birdies, and made two more bogeys at Nos. 6 and 7. But he got his round going with four straight birdies at Nos. 11-14. McCarron, playing on a surgically reconstructed left ankle, birdied four of the course’s five par 3s.
“The surgery in August, no weight-bearing for about seven weeks, couldn’t walk at all, then started learning how to walk again, then learning how to play again in December,” McCarron said. “But I need to come out and play. I need to come out and walk. That’s the only way it’s going to get stronger, if I keep testing it.”
Ames recovered from a double bogey at the fourth hole by making six birdies over his last 11 holes. He credited his improved putting.
“I’ve had opportunities but I couldn’t make the putts to close things out,” Ames said. “I’ve been working a little bit on that, mentally more than the stroke itself. Those things I’ve put in place this week that I’ve been working on, and it’s coming out, which is nice. It’s freed me up quite a bit.”
Alex Cejka of Germany, the defending champion, shot a 69 to move to 5 under and a tie for seventh with Paul Goydos (68), Australian Rod Pampling (68), South Africa’s Ernie Els (70) and PGA teaching professional Tracy Phillips (68).
–Field Level Media