Bernhard Langer shot a blistering 9-under 63 on Saturday to hold a one-shot lead over Paul Goydos after two rounds of the TimberTech Championship in Boca Raton, Fla.
Langer carded 10 birdies against one bogey during a scintillating round at Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club. He’s at 11-under 133 after two rounds.
Goydos had an eagle, five birdies and one bogey while firing a 66. Rod Pampling is four shots back in third after a 69.
The 65-year-old Langer bettered his age for the fourth time this season. He also is in position to win his 44th career Champions crown, which would move him within one of Hale Irwin’s all-time record.
Langer is winless since his victory in the Chubb Classic in February, so he’s just interested in a first-place finish and not Irwin’s mark.
“I probably won’t think about it at all,” Langer said of Irwin’s record. “I’m just going to hopefully think about what’s at hand, one shot at a time. That’s cliche, but that’s really what’s important.
“There’s a lot of great golfers behind me and they’re going to play attacking golf, so I’ve got my hands full and I’ve got to play a good round of golf.”
Langer had five birdies on both and front and back nines and needed just 21 putts in the round.
“Yeah, certainly the putter was working today,” Langer said. “And I holed a bunker shot, so that’s zero putts on that hole, that always helps. But yes, that was really the missing piece the last few weeks and months.
“Felt I was striking the ball fairly well many a day, just not making any putts. And today actually wasn’t necessarily my best ball-striking day, but I made a bunch of putts.”
Goydos is in position for his first Champions win since 2017, but is aware it won’t be easy.
“He very rarely beats himself, so it’s no big surprise that he’s playing well on this particular golf course,” Goydos said of Langer.
Pampling had three birdies during a bogey-free round.
Charles Schwab Cup leader Steven Alker of New Zealand shot 68 and is in a five-way tie for fourth at 138. Joe Durant (67), Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke (66), Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (68) and Canada’s Stephen Ames (68) are also part of the tie.
The tournament is the penultimate leg of the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. Alker has a healthy lead in the standings, with Ireland’s Padraig Harrington in second. Harrington shot 67 and is tied for ninth with Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez (72) at 5-under 139.
–Field Level Media