Former Amateur Stars Leading in Michigan
Sigel won six times from 1994-98. He then hit the proverbial wall that many seniors slam into once they near 55.
Now, nearing 60, Sigel has put himself in good position after 18 holes to end his four-year winless streak. The 58-year-old Pennsylvanian shot 5-under-par 67 Friday to share the first-round lead in the Farmers Charity Classic in Ada, Mich.
Sigel is tied with fellow former amateur standout David Eger. The tour rookie matched Sigel's 67 in round one. John Jacobs is one back after a 68. Two-time defending champion Larry Nelson is in a group two off the pace.
Eger, 50, is conditionally exempt on tour after finishing 14th at the Qualifying Tournament. He played 58 events on the PGA Tour before being reinstated as a amateur in 1986.
He was a three-time U.S. Walker Cup member, and semifinalist in the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Amateur Championships.
Sigel served as one of the nations finest amateurs before cashing in on the Senior circuit. He won back-to-back U.S. Amateur crowns in 1982-83, three U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships and the 1979 British Amateur title. He was twice a playing captain for the Walker Cup team, and seven times a member.
Sigel won once in his rookie season on tour to earn Rookie of the Year honors. He rallied from 10 strokes down to catch Jim Colbert in regulation and then defeated him in a playoff for his first professional victory at the GTE West Classic.
He failed to win in 95, but collected over $1 million in a one-win 96. He increased his earnings each of the next two seasons, both years recording multiple victories.
Then the winning-well ran dry. He dropped to 35th on the money list in 1998; 52nd in 99; and 37th in 2000.
This year, he has yet to notch a top-10 finish in 12 starts; though, that may change following Fridays performance.
Sigel birdied two of his first three holes, as well as the eighth and ninth. He again recorded back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 to move to 6-under, but bogeyed the par-3 16th to finish at minus 5.
Eger, likewise, made six birdies and one bogey.
Full-field scores from the Farmers Charity Classic
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”
After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood
With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.
While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.
Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.
Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2
Zach Johnson: 13/2
Rory McIlroy: 7/1
Jordan Spieth: 8/1
Rickie Fowler: 9/1
Kevin Kisner: 12/1
Xander Schauffele: 16/1
Tony Finau: 16/1
Matt Kuchar: 18/1
Pat Perez: 25/1
Brooks Koepka: 25/1
Erik van Rooyen: 50/1
Alex Noren: 50/1
Tiger Woods: 50/1
Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1
Danny Willett: 60/1
Francesco Molinari: 60/1
Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.
“Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”
It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.
“I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”
Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.
For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.
“It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”