Mediate goes low to lead by 3 in debut
Boca Raton, FL (Sports Network) - Rocco Mediate fired a course-record, 11- under 61 on Saturday and moved three strokes clear of the field after two rounds of the Allianz Championship.
Mediate finished 36 holes at 16-under-par 128 after shooting a career low round. He set both the 18- and 36-hole scoring records. Craig Stadler had the old 18-hole record of 63 on The Old Course at Broken Sound Club, while Tim Simpson and Tommy Armour III had posted 131 in 2010.
"I know I shot 62 at Colonial. This is my lowest and probably my best in a while," admitted Mediate. "I missed a few, but got out of jail a few times."
First-round co-leader Tom Pernice, Jr. carded a 7-under 65 to end two rounds at minus-13. Bernhard Langer, who shared the first-round lead with Pernice, shot 67 and is alone in third at 11-under 133.
David Frost fired a 65 of his own and jumped 22 places into fourth at minus-9.
Defending champion Corey Pavin posted a 3-under 69 and is tied for fifth at 8- under-par 136. He was joined there by Fred Funk (69), Larry Mize (67) and Mark O'Meara (67).
Mediate trailed by one at the start of the round, but flew into the lead with a hot stretch on the front nine. He birdied No. 3 after stuffing his tee shot within a foot and made it two in a row with a 20-foot birdie putt on four.
The 50-year-old drained a 25-foot birdie try at five. Mediate made his fourth consecutive birdie at the par-5 sixth and ended his run of five in a row with a birdie on the seventh.
Mediate, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, parred two in a row before converting a 10-foot birdie chance on the 10th. He also birdied the 11th and 12th, both from eight feet out, to move to 13-under.
After four pars in a row, Mediate birdied the 17th. He closed his stellar round with a 10-foot eagle putt at the par-5 18th.
"I was looking forward to today. I made lots of good putts, some long, some short," Mediate stated. "I put the work in to get ready, but sometimes that doesn't matter. I made a few early and that opened things up."
Pernice opened with birdies at one and four. After four pars in a row, he dropped in back-to-back birdies at nine and 10.
He carded three straight pars from the 11th, then birdied the 14th after dropping his tee shot three feet from the hole. Down the stretch, Pernice birdied No. 16 and 2-putted for birdie at the last to move within three of the lead.
"I've worked hard in the offseason. I've committed to this tour," Pernice said. "I can't complain with seven birdies. This course isn't long so you have to be in the right position."
NOTES: Mediate could become the 16th player to win his Champions Tour debut and first since Pernice in 2009 at the SAS Championship ... Bobby Wadkins had a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth ... Langer owns the tournament record with 22 birdies. Mediate has 16 through two rounds ... Just two of the six winners in event history had a least a piece of the 36-hole lead.
02/09 19:27:43 ET