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Champions Tour. The Principal Charity Classic. Russ Cochran Wins.

Russ Cochran won the Champions Tour, Principal Charity Classic at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines.

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Russ Cochran / Getty Images

Russ Cochran conquered his 2012 injuries and 35 winless tournaments to step back into the winners circle at the Principal Charity Classic, with a trophy winning score of -11 under par. A tense last round of  -5 under par 67, was enough,  but the left hander said he was not expecting to win, he thought second placed Jay Don Blake would make his last putt;

” I didn’t really expect to win. But I knew I could compete and get in contention. Of course, when you do that, sometimes good things happen. Blake is a tremendous putter. I didn’t want to see him roll it in with all the confidence, and I just felt like he would make it. Being such a good friend, I wanted him to make it.”

Jay Don Blake made bogey on the par three 17th hole, and had a chance to make a play-off with a putt on the 18th, which he missed;

“I quit on the stroke. I didn’t make a good stroke. I kind of de-accelerated and left it out there to the right”

He blamed the bogey on seventeen for unsettling him, leaving him with a total score of -10 under par;

“From then on, it just seemed like I was a little bit cautious with the putter. I wasn’t stroking as aggressive as I was before.”

Tied in third place at -9 under par for the tournament were; Kirk Triplett, Marl Calcavecchia and Duffy Waldorf. Both Kirk and Mark matched the -5 under par final round of 67 of Russ, but Duffy finished with -1 under par, 71.

 

 

Sony Open, Hawaii, Rookie Scott Langley Leads

SONY OPEN

on the left is Scott Langley/ Getty Images

The Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club.had a surprising first round leader in Scott Langley, in his first start as a rookie on Tour. Scott fired in a first round 62, -8 under par, with some wonderful stroke play and nerveless putting. Scott said he was excited about the coming days of this tournament;

“I’m a young guy, but I’m old enough to know that we have a lot of golf left. We’ve barely started, and I’m excited about the next few days.”

Just one shot behind the leader in second place is another rookie, Russell Henley, with his opening effort of -7 under par 63. Russell was pleased he got friends Scott and Luke Guthrie as his playing partners in the first round;

“I think there was a lot of nerves for me the first few holes and I think playing with Scotty and Luke was huge for me, and watching them play well kind of gave me a goal to try to keep up with them, so it was definitely fun feeding off them.”

Unfortunately Luke Guthrie did not fare so well, finishing at +1 over par, tied in 88th place.

A year ago Scott and Russell two were playing in a Hooters Tour event in Florida, Russell missing the cut and Scott just making it to proceed, walking up sixteen today the pair reminisced, Scott said;

“We were on the range trying to help each other find it. We were just walking up 16, you could see the ocean behind, PGA TOUR signs everywhere. We looked at each other and realized this is pretty cool. To look back one year ago and to know that we weren’t here, we were in a far different place.”

Tied in third spot at -6 under par are Scott Piercy and Tim Clark, Scott Piercy had a 64 in the morning, with Tim Clark matching that score in the afternoon session. Tim spent most of last year suffering from a mystery elbow injury, and came into this tournament with fairly low expectations;

“It’s going to be an exciting year for me because I do feel like I’m healthy again and can play a full schedule. I’m obviously doing a lot better than I was last year.”

Scott Piercy, the RBC Canadian Open champion, was among 20 players in the field who started their season last week on Maui, at the weather wrecked Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course, he recalled the terrible putting performance he endured;

” Seven three-putts and a four-putt last week. The wind wasn’t even blowing today compared to last week. I just played solid today, hit it in a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, made two fairly key putts and took care of the par fives.”

Seventy players in the 144-man field broke par, they included a pair from the Champions Tour. Russ Cochran, who won the Senior British Open in 2011, he had a first round of 68 and Fred Funk who shot an even par round of 70.

Champions Tour. SAS Championship.Comeback King Russ Cochran Leads

SNOQUALMIE, WA - AUGUST 28:  Russ Cochran hits a tee shot on No. 4 during the final round of the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, on August 28, 2011 in Snoqualmie, Washington.

Russ Cochran/Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Champions Tour, SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, North Carolina got off to good start with Russ Cochran firing a first round -6 under par 66 to top the leaderboard on day one. Russ showed no signs of rustiness after his enforced 12 week lay-off due to a troublesome back problem. He was the 2010 winner of this event, and today managed hit all 18 greens in regulation to lead all the players in that category and also holds a one-stroke lead over four other  players who are tied in second place at -5 under par. They are Steve Pate, Andrew Magee, Jay Don Blake and Fred Funk. The defending champion is Kenny Perry and he leads a group of five players who are two strokes behind the leader.

Russ said he was really just happy to be out on the course;

“I came here hoping to finish the tournament really, but I fell into a great mode and played a good, solid round. Maybe I need more time off, I don’t know. Of course, when you’re playing well, you feel like you could do it all the time, but I’ve got to give myself a lot of room and be very, very patient and realize that I haven’t been in the heat in a long time. I haven’t played; much less been in the heat. I’ll be pretty calm Saturday, I think.”

Fred Funk said he had a very good front nine, he made the turn in 30 strokes;

“I had a really efficient front nine,I got everything out of that front nine. Obviously, shooting – 5 under’s great. I’m playing really good. I’m playing solid, close to playing really, really good, and it’s more; it’s fun just to play.”

 

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