SNOQUALMIE, Wash. – Another trip to the Pacific Northwest could mean another title for Bernhard Langer.
The German fired a 63 to take a one-shot lead over Nick Price after the second round of the Champions Tour’s Boeing Classic on Saturday.
Just a month ago, Langer held off hometown favorite Fred Couples to win his second senior major in as many weeks at the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.
Four weeks later he leads heading to Sunday again in a tournament in the greater Seattle area. Any thoughts of taking up residency in Washington state?
“Soon,” Langer joked.
Price struggled to make birdies on the back nine, allowing Langer to overtake the opening round leader.
Langer made a 12-foot birdie on the 12th hole to pull within a shot of Price and move to 6-under on the round. With Price making pars, Langer continued his run to the top of the leaderboard. Birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 gave him the outright lead and a birdie at 18 moved him to 15-under 129 for the tournament.
“I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens,” Langer said. “The key was the short game was good, the putter was good.”
“I didn’t have too much pressure on the rest of the game; the short game was phenomenal.”
Langer set a record for the lowest 36-hole score in the six-year history of the tournament. He also has 26 one-putt greens through the first two rounds.
“He’s going to be tough to beat tomorrow,” Price said.
Price (67) made four birdies on the front nine. He recorded his only bogey of the day at 17, but closed with an eagle at the par-5 18th to pull within a shot of Langer.
“It got harder as the day progressed because of the firmness of the greens,” Price said. “That three-putt from just off the green on 17 kind of irked me a little bit because I didn’t really feel like I should have made bogey there.”
Price was tentative with his stroke on a 3-footer and had his par chance lip out for a bogey. But he bounced back, draining a 12-foot putt for eagle at the par-5 18th.
“I was thinking to myself that I had to birdie the last. I didn’t want to start tomorrow two shots behind,” Price said.
“A lot of times you’ll back up a really low round with a mediocre round and I shot 5-under today which I thought was still pretty strong. But I’m still one back so I’m going to have my work cut out tomorrow.”
Couples is wishing he could say the same.
He had just come off consecutive birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 that moved him into a tie with Tom Pernice Jr. for third at 8 under.
But Couples bogeyed the par-5 15th hole for the second consecutive day after going in the hazard that lines the left side of the hole off the tee. Then he came unglued at 16 finding the sand trap in front of the green with his second shot. His first two attempts failed to clear the 8-foot lip and rolled back to his feet. He finally got out on the third attempt and made double-bogey.
Another bogey at 17 added to Couples’ problems and he finished with a 72 to put him at 4 under for 36 holes.
“A 72 is not very good, but it’s what I shot and I’ve got to work on my game tomorrow and see if I can shoot a better score,” Couples said.
Pernice Jr. was three shots off the lead before consecutive bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12 dropped him back to 8 under. Pernice Jr. bounced back with birdies at 15 and 16 to finish at 10 under.
Keith Fergus and Hal Sutton are tied for fourth at 6 under.