RIDGEDALE, Mo. — Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen took the second-round lead Saturday in the Champions Tour’s Legends of Golf, teaming for a 6-under 48 in windy conditions on the par-3 Top of the Rock course.
Haas and Jacobsen played nine holes of alternate shot and nine of better ball at Top of the Rock, the first par-3 course used in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event, after opening with a better-ball 62 on Friday on the regulation Buffalo Ridge layout. They had a 15-under 110 total.
Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk were second after a 50 on the par-3 course, the site of the final round Sunday.
“I think both of us not only embrace the golf course and the concept of a par 3, but we embrace the format change from last year,” said Sluman, the winner last year with Brad Faxon in Savannah, Georgia. “t’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s vibrant and we’re jazzed to be here.”
In Legends Division for players 65 and older, the teams of Jim Colbert-Jim Thorpe and Bruce Fleisher-Larry Nelson shared the lead at 7-under 118. Colbert and Thorpe had a 2-under 52 on the par-3 course, and Fleisher and Nelson shot 56.
“It was very difficult starting out where you had alternate shots,” Fleisher said. “I thought it would have been a lot easier the other way around if we got a little bit of feel of the golf course. Larry’s a great partner, I’m kind of trying to tag along this week.”
Craig Stadler and Kirk Triplett were third in the Champions Division, shooting a 64 at Buffalo Ridge. The teams of Tom Watson-Andy North and Tom Pernice Jr.-Bob Tway were tied for fourth at 11 under after rounds on the regulation course. Watson and North had a 65, and Pernice and Tway shot 64.
“Who knows what the weather’s going to be tomorrow,” North said. “We’re fortunate to get done today, but man, the wind blew. Some of those holes played so hard. When you’re hitting woods into these par 3s, they’re pretty difficult. It’s going to be fun to get over there.”
Pernice won the Principal Charity Classic last week in Iowa for his third senior title.
In the Legends Division, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had a 66 at Buffalo Ridge to move into a tie for third with Butch Baird and Al Geiberger at 4 under. Baird and Geiberger had a 54 on the par-3 course.
“I’d say Gary played very well,” Nicklaus said. “I was all right the front nine. It was all Gary the back nine, thank goodness, because I wasn’t very good. I’ll have to say that Gary made some putts when he needed to make some putts and I couldn’t make the putts when I needed to make the putts. But we ham and egged it reasonably well throughout the round.”