Its Lietzkes personal playground because he has won the only two previous SAS Championships. And hes won going away each time, prevailing by three strokes in 2001 against Allen Doyle and Gary McCord, then taking a four-shot victory last year against a trio of runners-up, including Watson.
Lietzke has a razor-thin lead over Watson, though Watson has a higher per-tournament average. Lietzke has played 18 times this year while amassing $1,556,276. Watson has $1,534,608 in 12 outings. Lietzke leads by $21,668 in total money, but Watson has the per-tournament lead with an average of $127,884 per try. Lietzkes per-tournament average is $86,459 per tourney.
Lietzke won last year despite a course record by Jim Thorpe of 64 on opening day during the tournament outside Raleigh, N.C. Lietzke would then snip Thorpes record by a shot when he fired a 63 on the second day. Lietzke then shot 5-under 67 on Sunday to win breezing.
Im starting to change my mind about this not being a faders golf course, Lietzke says now. He previously had said he thought the course favored those who hit the ball left-to-right, the opposite of his favored flight path.
Ive just got too much proof otherwise to deny that now.
Lietzke and Watson have both won two times this season. One of Lietzkes win was a major ' the U.S. Senior Open. Both of Watsons wins were majors ' the British Senior Open and the JELD-WEN Tradition.