Crowded Leaderboard at Champions Event


2005 Constellation Energy ClassicHUNT VALLEY, Md. -- Don Pooley posted an 8-under 64 on Saturday to move atop the leaderboard after the second round of the Constellation Energy Classic. He stands at 10-under-par 134 and is one clear at Hayfields Country Club.
Massy Kuramoto ran home a 14-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Saturday to polish off a 5-under-par 67. He finished 36 holes at 9-under-par 135 and is tied for second place with Keith Fergus, who shot a 6-under 66 in round two.
Andy Bean established a new course record on Saturday with a 9-under-par 63. He is tied for fourth place with three-time winner this season Jay Haas (67), Hajime Meshiai (68), Tom Jenkins (68) and two-time champion in 2006 Brad Bryant (68) at minus-8.
The first round was completed Saturday morning after inclement weather forced the suspension of play on Friday. They teed off in threesomes off split tees in round two and with no rain scheduled for Sunday, the tournament seems set to finish on time.
Pooley flew out of the gate on Saturday with a tap-in birdie at the first. He drained a 12-footer at the next hole and made it three in a row thanks to a four-footer at the par-three third.
He took a break from making birdies at the fourth, but returned at the par- five fifth. Pooley sank a 20-foot birdie putt to reach six-under par for the championship.
Pooley collected a 15-foot birdie putt at the ninth to make the turn at five- under 31. He missed the green at the par-three 11th, but chipped in for birdie from 41 feet to reach eight-under par.
At the 13th, Pooley ran home a 30-foot birdie putt for his seventh birdie of the round. Number eight came at 15 when his nine-iron approach stopped six feet from the hole. Pooley landed in a bunker with his second at the par-five 16th, but blasted out to eight feet and converted the birdie putt to get to minus-11 and two clear of the field.
Problems arose for the 2002 U.S. Senior Open champion. He left a makeable, 12- foot birdie putt short at the par-four 17th, but the bigger issue came at the par-five closing hole.
Pooley made a mess of 18 when he ran his 15-foot birdie putt almost six feet past the cup. He missed that par putt to squander his lead down to a single stroke.
'It was a good day at 18 until my pitching-wedge missed,' acknowledged Pooley, who has battled through several injuries the last two seasons. 'I turned a possible three into a six.'
Pooley's last victory came at the 2003 Allianz Championship as injuries took their toll. When he took five playoff holes to dispatch Tom Watson and win the U.S. Senior Open, it was at nearby Caves Valley Golf Club, so Pooley has fond memories of the area.
'I love playing in Baltimore. It's nothing but great memories for me,' said Pooley. 'I had no inkling it would be this good for me today. I didn't at Caves Valley a few years ago either.'
Kuramoto moved up the leaderboard thanks to back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12. He pulled within one of the lead when he laid up at the 18th hole. Kuramoto knocked his second 14 feet right of the hole and poured the putt in the center of the cup.
Fergus holed a long birdie putt at one, then two-putted for birdies at both two and five. He recorded two birdies in a row from 11 and kicked in a four- footer for birdie at 15 to close the gap to one.
'The more times you're close, sooner or later, the door will open and they'll fall in,' said Fergus. 'It was an easy 66. I didn't have to struggle at all today.'
Defending champion Bob Gilder is definitely in the hunt to repeat. He shot a four-under 67 and is tied for ninth place with Bruce Summerhays, who also made it around in 67 on Saturday. The pair is knotted at seven-under-par 137.
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