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Couples grabs halfway lead in San Fran
San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Fred Couples carded his second straight 6-under-par 65 on Friday to grab a 2-stroke lead at the halfway point of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Couples, who is seeking his first Champions Tour win of the season, sits at 12-under-par 130 through 36 holes at TPC Harding Park.
"I feel like I've been playing pretty well this year," Couples said in a televised interview. "Sometimes it's not all about winning and then all of a sudden you win. When you tell yourself you need to win you put a lot more pressure on yourself."
Overnight leader Peter Senior shot 69 and dropped into second place at 10- under 132, while Bart Bryant shot 66 to reside in third place at minus-8.
Bernhard Langer, the only player in the field with a chance to overtake Charles Schwab Cup points leader Kenny Perry, sits alone in fourth place, five shots off the lead at 7-under 135. The German carded rounds of 67-68 over the first two days.
"We're only half way, there's a lot of golf to be played yet," said Langer. "I was really happy with my long game today -- made two 3-putts which really hurt and made two or three other putts which just lipped out, but that's the game of golf."
Langer needs to win the tournament and have Perry finish in a five-way tie for fourth or a two-way tie for fifth to win the cup. Perry is currently tied for 11th at 3-under after rounds of 68-71.
"I'm trying to shake a lot of hands and say 'I really could use you to play well this week,'" Perry joked. "It's been kind of fun. It's really been an interesting situation for me."
Couples began the second round two shots off Senior's pace, but the winning Presidents Cup captain tallied four birdies on the front nine to jump ahead.
Senior, meanwhile, played the front nine at even par (with a birdie and a bogey) after going 6-under over those same nine holes on Thursday.
Couples kept the momentum around the turn, getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker for birdie at the par-5 10th, then carding another birdie at the 16th to reach 12-under. He parred his last two holes to wrap up a bogey- free day.
Senior, playing a group behind Couples, notched three birdies in five holes from the 12th to reach 11-under, but he tripped to a bogey at the last to end two shots back entering the weekend.
NOTES: Couples is an eight-time Champions Tour winner ... Senior is seeking the first Champions Tour win of his career ... Defending champion Tom Lehman is tied for 11th place at 3-under-par 139 ... Fred Funk carded a hole-in-one at the par-3 eighth with a 4-iron from 204 yards. It marked the seventh ace in the history of the tournament and the third at TPC Harding Park ... Perry, who has won three events this season including consecutive majors at the Constellation Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open Championship, leads the Charles Schwab Cup standings by 612 points over Langer.
11/01 19:28:55 ET
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