DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Scott McCarron birdied the par-5 18th hole Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Mitsubishi Electric Classic.
The 53-year-old McCarron completed a 4-under 68 in the morning in the rain-delayed second round and shot a 70 in the afternoon to reach 6-under 138 at TPC Sugarloaf, the site of his last two PGA Tour titles.
“It was a grind all the way. It was a tough day again,” McCarron said. “The wind was up, it was very cold, tough to get the ball close. You can see with the scores. … The golf course is playing very difficult. And 2 under, I felt like I left a couple out there, but I also made a couple really good par saves, too.”
McCarron has eight victories on the 50-and-over tour. He won three times on the PGA Tour, taking the BellSouth Classic at the course in 1997 and 2001.
“It’s a long time,” McCarron said. “But again, once you come back to a golf course you play well at, those memories start coming back to you. You start seeing lines off tees that you took, you start seeing maybe some of the putts you made coming down the stretch. Even though it’s a long time, I still have a pretty good memory of the good stuff.”
Rocco Mediate was second, following an opening 73 with a 68.
“For me, it was really good,” Mediate said. “I put it on 17 greens today, which is sweet. Still, the putting is so hard around here. Jeez, oh, man, the putting’s hard around here. They’re just so fast. They’re firm. They’re still lightning, they’re still bricks, so you’ve got to have control.”
Miguel Angel Jimenez (70) was 2 under along with Kent Jones (68), Joe Durant (70) and Kirk Triplett (70). Jimenez, the 2014 winner, closed with a double bogey on 18.
Bernhard Langer was tied for 20th at 2 over after rounds of 77 and 69. The 61-year-old German star won the 2013 event and finished second four of the last five years. He won the Oasis Championship in February for his 39th Champions title.
Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was tied for 68th in the 78-player field at 10 over, finishing off a first-round 80 and shooting 74 in the second. The former Atlanta Braves star got into the field on a sponsor exemption. He tied for 53rd in Tucson, Arizona, in March his tour debut.
Fellow former big league pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa also struggled, shooting 79-78 to drop into a tie for 74th at 13 over. He also got a sponsor exemption.