Cochran leads by 2 in North Carolina
Cary, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Russ Cochran carded his second 6-under 66 in as many days Saturday and moved two strokes clear of the field after two rounds of the SAS Championship.
Cochran, the 2010 champion, finished 36 holes at 12-under-par 132. He will go for his fifth Champions Tour title on Sunday.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer shot 67 for the second day in a row. He climbed into a share of second place at minus-10. He was joined there by Kirk Triplett and 2009 runner-up David Frost, who both posted 67s of their own.
Michael Allen is alone in fifth at 9-under 135 after carding a 68 in round two. Olin Browne (66), 2011 winner Kenny Perry (68), 2004 winner Craig Stadler (68) and Anders Forsbrand (67) are tied for sixth at minus-8 at Prestonwood Country Club.
Cochran, one of three overnight co-leaders, got off to a flying start. He birdied the first from 22 feet out and made it two in a row as his 15-footer at the second fell for birdie.
The left-hander sank a 16-foot birdie chance on the fourth and came right back with a birdie on No. 5. Cochran converted a 10-foot birdie try at six to move three clear of the field at 11-under par.
Cochran, 54, stumbled to a 3-putt bogey on the par-5 seventh, but remained alone in the lead. He ran off seven consecutive pars from the eighth.
At the 15th, Cochran rolled in an 8-footer for birdie. He 2-putted for birdie on the par-5 17th to move two clear of Frost, Langer and Triplett. Cochran parred the last to end two ahead of the field.
"I know as crazy as it sounds, I was just very disappointed that when you have your finger on the pulse of the golf course and you're feeling good and you have the momentum going in your direction, to kind of let it slip," said Cochran. "It's not that often where you just get in that groove where you know something good's going to happen and you don't look ahead, but I just felt like I was going to really shoot low and was in control of pretty much all parts of the game, especially the putter, and let it slide a little bit."
Langer also opened with a birdie on the first, but followed with eight straight pars from there. On the back nine, he birdied the 10th and 12th to move to minus-8. Langer got within two of the lead as he carded back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17.
Triplett birdied No. 1, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the fourth. He drained three birdies in a row from the sixth, but that run ended with a bogey on the ninth.
The two-time defending champion at the First Tee Open birdied the 10th and 12th get to minus-9. After four pars in a row, Triplett birdied No. 17 to share second place.
"I think I don't have a lot of experience with this course, but what I do have is under these kind of conditions, you know, soft greens and just go ahead and belt your driver, 3-wood out there and take what you get," Triplett stated. "The course isn't real firm, so it's yielding some low scores. I think maybe when the greens are firmer, some of the shelves are probably hard to get the ball close to. But the greens are soft and if you're aggressive with the putter you can make some putts and that's certainly what I did today. Probably the best club in my bag was certainly the putter."
Frost birdied the first and third, but stumbled to a bogey on the fourth. He began his climb into a tie for second with a birdie at the eighth. Three more birdies on the back nine got the South African to minus-10.
NOTES: This is the seventh time Cochran has owned the 36-hole lead on the Champions Tour ... He won just one of the previous six, but two of those six were major championships ... Cochran earned his fourth tour win earlier this year at the Principal Charity Classic.
10/12 18:00:25 ET