Tim Herron recorded a blistering 9-under 63 on Saturday to take a four-shot lead at the Principal Charity Classic at Des Moines, Iowa.
Herron is at 14-under 130 after two rounds at the Wakonda Club. Shane Bertsch and Australia’s Rod Pampling each shot 67s to be Herron’s closest pursuers.
Doug Barron is five shots back in fourth place after posting a 69.
The 51-year-old Herron has never won on the Champions Tour. He posted four victories on the PGA Tour, with the last coming at the Colonial in a playoff at Fort Worth in 2006.
“I haven’t been in this situation for probably a decade,” Herron said after his stellar round. “Just go out and play each hole at a time. These guys are good. Someone else can shoot 9 under, so I’ve got to still kind of put the pedal down in the right spots. If I hit the fairway, I’ve got to go at the pin.”
Herron registered nine birdies during a bogey-free round on Saturday. He bogeyed his first hole on Friday and has since carded 15 birdies and 20 pars.
He made six birdies on the back nine in the second round, including on three of the final four holes.
“I got some really good breaks and I had some really good chances that I missed, but I made some great putts,” Herron said. “This is the most putts I’ve made in probably a decade. Hopefully, just going to keep it going and keep the putting stroke smooth.”
Bertsch also has just one bogey in 36 holes after avoiding any on Saturday. He knocked in five birdies.
Pampling has outdone both Herron and Bertsch when it comes to bogeys. He and Willie Wood are the lone two golfers to be bogey-free through two rounds.
Pampling sank four of his five birdies on the back nine.
Barron had six birdies but also was hurt by a bogey and a double-bogey.
First-round leader Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand couldn’t match his opening-round success (65) and shot 1-under 71. He bogeyed the first two holes in a round that included three birdies.
Jaidee is tied for fifth at 8-under 136 with Tom Gillis (69 on Saturday), Dicky Pride (70) and Canada’s Mike Weir (66).
Kenny Perry (69), Jerry Kelly (70), Canada’s Stephen Ames (69) and Sweden’s Jarmo Sandelin (66) are tied for ninth at 7 under.
Wood (68) is one of seven golfers tied for 13th at 6-under 138.
Germany’s Alex Cejka, who won two major titles last month, shot a second straight 70 and is tied for 22nd at 4 under.
Hall of Fame baseball pitcher John Smoltz wasn’t on the course for the second round. He carded a 1-over 73 in the first round but was disqualified for not signing his scorecard.
Joe Durant (illness) withdrew after bogeys on the first two holes. He shot 70 on Friday.
–Field Level Media
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