LUTZ, Fla. (AP) — Bernhard Langer shot a 5-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Mark O’Meara and Mike Reid in the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.
Langer, the German star who won the Allianz Championship in February in Boca Raton for his ninth Champions Tour title, had a 9-under 133 total at TPC Tampa Bay.
“My game plan seems to be working so far, so I’ll play the same way I have the past two days,” Langer said.
O’Meara shot a 69, and Reid had a 68.
Fred Couples, trying to match the tour record for victories in consecutive starts of four set by Chi Chi Rodriguez in 1987, followed his opening 71 – his only score higher than 68 in 14 senior rounds – with a 67 to move into a tie for 12th at 4 under. “I need to be 5 or 6 under to really make a move,” said the 50-year-old Couples, sixth last week in the Masters. “I don’t know what I need to shoot tomorrow – 8 under – to be there. I need a hot round and I’ve had few of them this year.”
Tom Kite (67) was fourth at 7 under, and defending champion Nick Price (70) was another stroke back along with Keith Fergus (68) and Dan Forsman (66).
Tom Watson, the 2007 and 2008 winner, was 5 under after a 70. A one-stroke winner over Couples in the season-opening event in Hawaii, the 60-year-old Watson tied for 18th in the Masters. Hal Sutton (67) and Tom Pernice Jr. (70) also were 5 under.
O’Meara is winless on the Champions Tour after winning 16 times on the PGA Tour.
“I want to win. There’s no question about it,” O’Meara said. “It’s been a while. Second’s nice, but I’ve had enough seconds. I don’t want anymore. … Bernhard is out there playing well and he’s always a force. I’ve probably got to shoot 4 under or better tomorrow to have a chance and hopefully get over the hurdle.”