Weibe Closing in on Historic Victory

By Sports NetworkSeptember 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
Champions TourCARY, North Carolina -- Mark Wiebe's Champions Tour debut is getting close to historic.
Wiebe posted a 6-under 66 on Saturday to take sole possession of the second-round lead at the SAS Championship. He stands at 13-under-par 131 and is one clear at Prestonwood Country Club.
The 131 36-hole score marked a new tournament record, besting Jim Ahern's 2003 total of 132.
More significantly, Wiebe can become the 12th player in Champions Tour history to make his debut a winning one. The last golfer to do so was Mark McNulty at the 2004 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.
Dana Quigley, the 2005 Champions Tour Player of the Year, birdied the last for a 6-under 66. He is tied for second place with Dick Mast, who carded a 65 on Saturday, at minus-12.
Jay Haas, the reigning Player of the Year, and Massy Kuramoto both shot rounds of 5-under 67 in round two. They are knotted in fourth place at 9-under-par 135.
Wiebe, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR, began the second round tied for the lead with Q School medalist, Boonchu Ruangkit. It was Wiebe's start that propelled him into first.
He birdied four in a row from the second hole to reach 11 under par for the championship. Wiebe played solidly through the rest of the round although his iron play was not spectacular. Wiebe only hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation, but his name stayed atop the leaderboard.
At the par-4 16th, Wiebe hit another average iron shot, leaving himself 40 feet short and right of the flag. Wiebe drained the long birdie putt to move to 12 under par, which gave him a two-shot cushion.
One hole later, Wiebe reached the par-5 17th green in two. He lagged his long birdie putt to two feet and tapped in for another birdie. That put him one ahead of Mast, who got in the clubhouse at minus-12.
Wiebe struggled a bit on the closing hole after he missed the fairway. His second landed in a greenside bunker, but blasted out to 3 feet. Wiebe made the par putt to preserve his one-shot lead.
Mast collected four birdies through his first 12 holes, but missed a short par putt at 14. He answered with birdies at 15 and 16 and an eagle at the 17th. Mast made a nice par from a long way away at the last as he looks for win No. 1 on the Champions Tour.
Quigley tallied three birdies on his front nine, but parred his first five holes on the second nine. He ran home a long birdie putt at the 16th to get within one, then kept pace with Wiebe thanks to a 4-footer for birdie at 17 and a 6-footer for birdie at the last.
Ruangkit only managed a 1-under 71 on Saturday and fell into a tie for sixth place. Don Pooley (66), Des Smyth (67), Keith Fergus (67), D.A. Weibring (68) and Bruce Lietzke (68) joined Ruangkit at 8-under 136.
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