Final-hole eagle boosts Calcavecchia into share of lead at Boeing Classic

mark calcavecchia
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Mark Calcavecchia, winless in 30 career starts on the Champions Tour, is tied with Kenny Perry, Jeff Sluman and Russ Cochran.
By
Associated Press

Series: Champions Tour

Published: Saturday, August 27, 2011 | 8:49 p.m.

Mark Calcavecchia seized his opportunity on the final two holes, birdieing the par-3 17th and holing a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 67 and a share of the second-round lead Saturday in the Champions Tour's Boeing Classic.

Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, matched Kenny Perry (68), Jeff Sluman (70) and Russ Cochran (71) at 7 under at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

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BOEING CLASSIC

The Boeing Classic is the only pro tour event held annually in the state of Washington.

Bob Gilder (69), Chip Beck (69) and Chien Soon Lu (69) were 5 under.

"Pretty much my whole day was the last couple holes," Calcavecchia said. "Nothing was happening for me on the front but I was being careful."

He picked up a stroke on the 211-yard 17th, hitting a 5-iron 18 feet from the hole. Then on the 498-yard, well-bunkered 18th, he rolled in the 20-footer for his eagle. He also birdied Nos. 8, 12, 14 and bogeyed No. 3.

Calcavecchia has 13 PGA Tour victories, the last in 2007, but is winless in 30 career starts in two seasons on the 50-and-over tour.

"I'm done thinking about that," he said. "I won't say I'm overdue. I just haven't played good enough for three or four straight days to win. I'll just go out there tomorrow, be careful, pick my spots and be patient."

Perry, coming off a second-place finish three weeks ago in the 3M Championship in Minnesota, also had some final-hole dramatics. He holed out from a bunker on the 18th for an eagle. That made up for a double-bogey 6 on No. 14 when his nine iron shot from 142 yards bounced off the back side of the green and disappeared.

"The course took it away from me but gave it back again with the unbelievable eagle on 18, a one on a million shot," Perry said. "It's a 30-foot face bunker, green sloping away from you and it takes two hops and (like) Michael Jordan, just dunks."

On the 14th, he thought it had a chance to go in the hole.

"It was all going smooth until the 14th," Perry said. "I hit as pretty a shot as I can ever remember, telling it to go in the hole and it went over the green and into the hazard," he said. "I had go back and hit the shot again. So that was pretty interesting.

"Being patient is the word here. This course doesn't give up much. It's hard to get close to the hole. It's like a mini-U.S. Open. It's a severe test out there. So I was definitely pleased with a 4 under."

Cochran, the Senior British Open Champion last month, entered the day with a one-stroke lead over Sluman. The left-hander bogeyed the 17th to fall back to 7 under.

Sluman also bogeyed the 17th.

Cochran beat Calcavecchia by two strokes last month to win the Senior British Open,

"I have to play a whole lot better tomorrow," Cochran said. "There's a couple guys out there who are used to winning that haven't won on the Champions Tour that are really going to go after it. If I don't go after it, I'm going to be left behind."

Defending champion Bernhard Langer was 3 under after a 73.

Fred Couples, the hometown star coming off a victory last weekend in New York in the Constellation Energy Seniors Players Championship, shot a 69 to reach 2 under.

"I think guys even 2 or 3 under still have a real good chance to win this golf tournament," Sluman said.