SAN ANTONIO – Fred Couples birdied six of the first seven holes and finished with a course-record 10-under 62 on Saturday to take a seven-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship.
Couples had 12 birdies - six in a back-nine 30 - and a double bogey to reach 17 under at TPC San Antonio’s Canyons Course, the first-year venue after nine years at Oak Hills.
On the par-3 fourth, Couples pushed his tee shot and dumped a chip into a bunker en route to the double bogey. He won the Senior Players Championship on Aug. 21 at Westchester for his first senior major title.
Mark Calcavecchia was second after a bogey-free 66. He made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
The seven-stroke lead is the largest 36-hole margin on the 50-and-over tour since 1998 when Isao Aoki, Hale Irwin and Larry Nelson led events by eight shots.
Couples broke the tournament record of 130 set by Mark McNulty in his 2004 victory, and the 62 tied the event record set by Gil Morgan in 2004 and matched by John Harris in 2005.
Nick Price (69) was third at 9 under. Scott Simpson had a chance to join Calcavecchia in second, but bogeyed the 18th and finished at 8 under after a 67. John Cook (67), Tom Lehman (67) and Peter Senior (67) also were 8 under. First-round co-leader Steve Lowery (72) was 7 under.
Calcavecchia, second in the tour’s Charles Schwab Cup, is trying to cut Lehman’s lead. The top 30 after the tournament will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Nov. 3-6 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
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