Langer, the Administaff Small Business Classic winner last October in Texas in only his fourth start on the 50-and-over tour, had an eagle, five birdies and a bogey Saturday on the Newport Beach Country Club course.
I putted better, Langer said. I made two longer ones and a couple of 12 to 15 footers.
Morris Hatalsky (64), Jeff Sluman (65), first-round leader Tim Simpson (70) and 2005 winner Mark Johnson (69) were tied for second at 9 under. Defending champion Jay Haas (69) was another stroke back along with Keith Fergus (67) and D.A. Weibring (68).
Scott Hoch, coming off consecutive wins in Florida in the Allianz Championship and The ACE Group Classic, was nine strokes back at 3 under after a 72.
Scotlands Sandy Lyle, making his Champions Tour debut, was even par after a 72. The two-time major champion turned 50 on Feb. 9.
Langer holed a 50-foot eagle putt on the par-5 third hole and was 5 under on the three par 5s in the first two rounds.
I think it is definitely a key, Langer said. They are all reachable in two shots. They played a little longer in the wind, but I still reached all of them.
Langer made his first bogey of the tournament on No. 17, then his birdie putt to extend the lead on 18 lipped out from 12 feet.
The finish kind of stinks, especially when I was playing so well, Langer said. Otherwise though, no complaints.
Johnson is playing the tournament on a sponsor exemption. He was tied with Langer after nine holes, but struggled on the back nine, shooting an even-par 36
I have an opportunity in the final round, Johnson said. I am going to have to have a great round. There are a lot of guys around the top of the leaderboard.