Stephen Ames, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els share lead at Hualalai
Canada’s Stephen Ames birdied the 18th hole on Friday to pull into a tie for first place going into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
Ames shot a 6-under-par 66 at Hualalai Golf Club, leaving him at 12-under 132 through two rounds. He is level with first-round leader Ernie Els of South Africa, who shot a 68 on Friday, and Fiji’s Vijay Singh, who carded a second-round 67.
Jim Furyk (second-round 66), Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez (66), Brett Quigley (66), New Zealand’s Steven Alker (67) and South Africa’s Retief Goosen (67) are tied for fourth at 11 under. Shane Bertsch (67) and David Toms (68) share ninth place at 9 under.
The PGA Tour Champions’ season-opening event has a limited field of 42 players.
Ames, 57, earned his second career Champions win last June at the Principal Charity Classic. His action-packed Friday round included an eagle at the par-5 fourth hole, six birdies and two bogeys.
Singh, 58, made his lone bogey on par-3 fifth hole, but that was surrounded by birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh holes. His back nine featured three birdies.
Els, 52, added to his lead by logging three consecutive birdies on Nos. 2, 3 and 4, but he gave back two of those strokes with a double bogey at No. 5. He produced three birdies and 10 pars over his final 13 holes.
“I had an excellent start, I was 3 under, then I made a really bad error in judgment on the par 3,” Els said. “I hit it in the water, made double bogey. That really set me back because I was really in a great rhythm. Then it was kind of a battle, but I hit some really good shots, I just couldn’t get the putts in the hole.
“It was just one of those kind of days, but I lost a lot of momentum with that tee shot on the fifth, but I thought I hung in well.”
Reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer, 64, managed just a 71 on Friday, leaving him tied for 13th at 7 under.
–Field Level Media