THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) — Brad Faxon moved into position for his first Champions Tour title, shooting a 7-under 65 in windy conditions Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Insperity Championship.
Faxon, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour who turned 50 on Aug. 1, had a bogey-free round to reach 10-under 134 at The Woodlands Country Club. Tommy Armour III, celebrating his 52nd birthday, was second after a 67. He also is winless on the 50-and-over tour.
Eduardo Romero (68) was two strokes back. Jay Haas (68), Olin Browne (68) and Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman (70) were 7 under, and defending champion Fred Couples was 4 under after a 72.
Faxon felt good after his third birdie to start the round.
“All of a sudden after hitting a 20-footer, obviously that’s a good start,” Faxon said. “I just tried to stay patient and I thought I did a nice job today, picking out a target and making a quality shot.”
Faxon didn’t get the lead until No. 17. He hit a 7-iron to 6 feet to set up at birdie.
“That was a big swing there, Eduardo had the lead,” Faxon said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better place to putt.”
John Cook, a three-time winner this year, started the day three shots behind first day leader Michael Allen. Cook moved to 10 under for the tournament with a birdie on No. 7, but followed that with a double bogey on the next hole. He also double bogeyed No. 17 and finished at 4 under after a 74.
Allen had a triple bogey on the 158-yard third hole that is bordered by water on the approach. Allen had two other bogeys and a double bogey for a second-round 79.
Allen was the first day leader with a 9-under 63, one shot off the tournament record.
Couples eagled the par-5 first hole for the second straight day.
Faxon reached 9 under with his birdie on No. 14.
“That was probably my best shot of the day, a 4-iron 185 yards into the wind,” he said.
Faxon had an opening 69 and felt good beginning the second round.
“I just thought I played a pretty nice round yesterday, maybe a few bogeys,” Faxon said. “Three under par was a pretty good score. I just did a good job of staying calm, in the moment, trying to enjoy myself. I haven’t done that in a while.
“I can go out and shoot 90 tomorrow and my head but I think my head is in the right place that I can accept stuff a lot better than I have. I’m in such a better place than I have been.”