Housemates McCarron, Ames share Senior PGA midway lead after rough Friday weather

·12 min read
Scott McCarron hits from the fairway on the 16th hole during the second round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament, Friday, May 27, 2022, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.(Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)
Scott McCarron hits from the fairway on the 16th hole during the second round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament, Friday, May 27, 2022, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.(Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- The Odd Couple, golfers Scott McCarron and Stephen Ames, they are not.

But the housemates for this week’s 82nd Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores do have something in common – a share of the 36-hole lead at 8-under 134 after shooting matching 5-under 66s in Friday’s second round which started with rain and wind and only got colder as the day progressed.

“It was crazy,” said 56-year-old McCarron, who has 11 PGA Tour Champions victories including the 2017 Senior Players major title. “Weather (when) we teed off … was not too bad. (It was) 60 (degrees) and then we got to the third hole, and I think it dropped 10 or 15 degrees.”

Nevertheless, McCarron made eight birdies in his round, five for an incoming 30 on the back nine of the 6,852-yard Jack Nicklaus design that sits near Lake Michigan. The 58-year-old Ames, who made a double bogey for the second straight day, made six birdies over his final 11 holes despite the deteriorating conditions.

Stephen Ames acknowledges the gallery on the 16th hole during the second round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament Friday, May 27, 2022, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)
Stephen Ames acknowledges the gallery on the 16th hole during the second round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament Friday, May 27, 2022, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)

► First day: Rookie sensation Steven Alker matches 7-under 64 with Estes in opening round of Senior PGA

“It’s not my cup of tea,” Ames said. “I’m not a fan of the cold weather even though I lived in Canada. But I never went out and played golf in this.”

McCarron is coming off major reconstructive surgery of his left ankle last August and has just one Top 25 finish this season in nine events, a tie for 16th at the Regions Tradition major on May 15 that was won by Steve Stricker, who is not playing this week after testing positive for COVID.

“It’s been a slow process,” McCarron said about his surgery. “I knew it would be. It’s been a struggle, but the last couple of weeks it’s gotten better.”

Ames, meanwhile, is 11th on the money list with $406,237 in earnings thanks to four Top 10 finishes.

“Putting has been a bit of an issue the last six weeks I’ve played,” Ames said after making a 25-foot birdie for his final birdie at the 16th. “I’ve had opportunities, but I couldn’t make putts to close things out.”

McCarron and Ames were two strokes ahead of four golfers – 64-year-old World Golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer of Germany, who shot a second straight 68, Florida’s Brian Gay (68), Canada’s Mike Weir (71) and PGA Tour Champions rookie sensation Steven Alker (72) of New Zealand.

Bernhard Langer acknowledges the gallery on the 16th hole during the second round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament Friday, May 27, 2022, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)
Bernhard Langer acknowledges the gallery on the 16th hole during the second round of the Senior PGA Championship golf tournament Friday, May 27, 2022, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)

► More: Germany's Bernhard Langer has priorities in order for Senior PGA event in Michigan

► By the numbers A fun peek at notable numbers associated with the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores

Langer, a two-time Masters champion who has won the most senior majors (11) since turning 50, made four birdies, three of them on Harbor Shores’ par-5 holes at 9, 10 and 15, to offset a bogey at the 436-yard seventh hole where the windswept small green overlooks Lake Michigan.

“It was cold today, much colder, and the ball just went nowhere at times,” Langer said. “It’s nice to go below 70 on a day like this because it’s not easy. The course played a lot longer.”

Alker, who eagled his first hole of the tournament (the par-5 10th) Thursday by draining a 25-foot downhill putt, bogeyed the first hole and the last Friday with just birdie in between. “It was a grinding day,” said Alker, who has two victories and almost $1.2 million this season. “Obviously I didn’t hit it as close as yesterday … couldn’t reach the par-5s.”

After surrendering 56 sub-par rounds to the 156-player field in Thursday’s opening round, Harbor Shores fought back Friday with plenty of help from Mother Nature. Only 17 golfers shot under-par Friday.

The best round of the afternoon, a 2-under 69, belonged to defending champion Alex Cejka, who was in a group at 5-under 137 with morning golfers multi-major champion Ernie Els (70) of South Africa, Rod Pampling (68) of Australia and Americans Paul Goydos (68) and Tracy Phillips (68), one of 39 club professionals playing this week.

Cejka started his Friday afternoon round at the par-5 10th hole, made birdie at the par-3 11th and then finished the nine with back-to-back bogeys at 17 and 18. But he made four birdies on Harbor Shores’ front side.

“I grinded on (his) back nine,” Cejka said. “It was really, really tough, but I hit some good shots, made some good putts, made some clutch up-and-downs.”

A total of 71 golfers made the 36-hole cut which came at three-over 145.

He just grinds

Langer, who has 43 PGA Tour Champions victories and won 11 major championships since turning 50, has himself again in the hunt for a victory at Harbor Shores after a second-straight, three-under 68 in different scoring conditions. Friday’s rain and winds from the northwest across Lake Michigan mystified many in the field, but the 64-year-old Langer was not among them. He had four birdies, three on par-5 holes.

“The conditions were pretty rough,” Langer said. “It was cold today, much colder, and the ball just went nowhere at times.”

The two-time Masters champion (1985 and 1993) also said the weather forecasts he has received the first two days have not been correct. “Yesterday (Thursday) they were wrong, and today they were wrong again,” he laughed. “It was nice to go below 70 on a day like this because it was not easy.”

In his previous three visits here – Langer did not play in the event in 2018 because of his son’s graduation from high school – he’s finished tied for fourth in 2012 (to champion Roger Chapman of England), tied for third in 2014 (to champion Colin Montgomerie) and tied for third in 2016 (to champ Rocco Mediate).

Past champions

Montgomerie followed his opening two-under 69 with a 71 and was at two-under 140, one stroke ahead of a group at 141 that included 2018 champion Paul Broadhurst, who managed a two-under 69 in Friday’s crazy conditions.

When he won in 2014, Montgomerie shot 13-under 271 to win. Broadhurst shot 19-under 265 to win in 2018, matching 2016 champion Rocco Mediate’s winning score.

Chapman, who opened with a one-under 70 Thursday was two-over for the day midway through Friday’s round and was at one-over. The projected 36-hole cut was expected to be three-over.

Down the road

Mediate, who opened with a three-over 74 Thursday, won’t be among those who make the cut as he was one of four golfers who no-carded Friday. A wrist injury caused his withdraw. John Daly, the 1991 PGA champion at Crooked Stick who shot 72 Thursday, withdrew with knee problems. Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA champ who opened with a 75, and Jonathan Kaye (78) also started Friday’s play but withdrew.

82nd KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – The tee times off the No. 1 tee for Saturday’s third round of the 82nd KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship being played at the par-71, 6,852-yard Harbor Shores Golf Club. (cp) denotes club professional:

7:11 a.m.:   Roger Chapman, England; David Frost, South Africa; Harrison Frazar, Texas

7:22: Retief Goosen, South Africa; Corey Pavin, Texas; Stephen Leaney, Australia       

7:33: Neal Lancaster (cp) North Carolina; David McKenzie, Australia; Tim Fleming (cp) Oklahoma

7:44: Olin Browne, Florida; Kirk Triplett, Arizona; Scott Parel, Georgia

7:55: Glen Day, Arkansas; Thomas Goegele, Germany; Brett Quigley, Rhode Island

8:06: Joe Durant, Florida; Billy Andrade, Rhode Island; Dicky Pride, Alabama

8:17: Jeff Maggert, South Carolina; Charlie Wi, South Korea; Billy Mayfair, Oklahoma

8:28: Jay Haas, South Carolina; Tim Weinhart (cp) Georgia; Gary Wolstenholme, England

8:39: Phillip Price, Wales; Jeff Sluman, Illinois; Tom Lehman, Arizona

8:50: Darren Clarke, Northern Ireland; Mark Hensby, Australia; Tim Herron, Minnesota

9:01: Omar Uresti (cp) Texas; Peter Fowler, Australia; Y.E. Yang, South Korea

9:12: Chris DiMarco, Colorado; Bob Sowards (cp) Ohio; Paul Claxton (cp) Georgia

9:23: Jerry Kelly, Wisconsin; Joakim Haeggman, Sweden; Michael Allen, Arizona

9:34: Paul Broadhurst, England; Ricardo Gonzalez, Argentina; Paul Stankowski, Texas

9:45: Thomas Levet, France; Miguel Angel Jimenez, Spain; Michael Campbell, New Zealand

9:56: Gene Sauers, Florida; K.J. Choi, South Korea; Stephen Dodd, Wales

10:07: Colin Montgomerie, Scotland; James Kingston, South Africa; Bob Estes, Texas

10:18: Kevin Sutherland, California; Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand; Duffy Waldorf, Indiana

10:29: Tim Petrovic, Texas; Brandt Jobe, Oklahoma; Woody Austin, Kansas

10:51: Robert Karlsson, Sweden; Padraig Harrington, Ireland; Shane Bertsch, Colorado

11:02: Paul Goydos, California, Alex Cejka, Germany; Shaun Micheel, Tennessee

11:13: Tracy Phillips (cp) Oklahoma; Rod Pampling, Australia; Ernie Els, South Africa

11:24: Mike Weir, Canada; Bernhard Langer, Germany; Steven Alker, New Zealand

11:35: Scott McCarron, North Carolina; Stephen Ames, Canada; Brian Gay, Florida

KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship Tour Scores

Friday

At The GC at Harbor Shores

Benton Harbor, Mich.

Purse: $3.3 million

Yardage: 6,852; Par: 71

Second Round

Stephen Ames 68-66—134

Scott McCarron 68-66—134

Steven Alker 64-72—136

Brian Gay 68-68—136

Bernhard Langer 68-68—136

Mike Weir 65-71—136

Alex Cejka 68-69—137

Ernie Els 67-70—137

Paul Goydos 69-68—137

Rod Pampling 69-68—137

Tracy Phillips 69-68—137

Padraig Harrington 68-70—138

Robert Karlsson 66-72—138

Shaun Micheel 70-68—138

Woody Austin 67-72—139

Shane Bertsch 67-72—139

Brandt Jobe 68-71—139

Tim Petrovic 69-70—139

Kevin Sutherland 68-71—139

K.J. Choi 68-72—140

Stephen Dodd 68-72—140

Bob Estes 64-76—140

Thongchai Jaidee 70-70—140

James Kingston 69-71—140

Thomas Levet 67-73—140

Colin Montgomerie 69-71—140

Gene Sauers 67-73—140

Duffy Waldorf 66-74—140

Michael Allen 68-73—141

Paul Broadhurst 72-69—141

Michael Campbell 71-70—141

Chris DiMarco 67-74—141

Ricardo Gonzalez 69-72—141

Joakim Haeggman 67-74—141

Miguel Angel Jimenez 67-74—141

Jerry Kelly 69-72—141

Paul Stankowski 70-71—141

Darren Clarke 68-74—142

Paul Claxton 65-77—142

Peter Fowler 70-72—142

Mark Hensby 67-75—142

Tim Herron 71-71—142

Bob Sowards 68-74—142

Omar Uresti 72-70—142

Y.E. Yang 71-71—142

Jay Haas 72-71—143

Tom Lehman 72-71—143

Jeff Maggert 71-72—143

Billy Mayfair 70-73—143

Phillip Price 71-72—143

Jeff Sluman 70-73—143

Tim Weinhart 73-70—143

Charlie Wi 70-73—143

Gary Wolstenholme 69-74—143

Billy Andrade 72-72—144

Olin Browne 70-74—144

Glen Day 69-75—144

Joe Durant 70-74—144

Thomas Goegele 72-72—144

Dicky Pride 67-77—144

Brett Quigley 71-73—144

Roger Chapman 70-75—145

Tim Fleming 71-74—145

Harrison Frazar 71-74—145

David Frost 73-72—145

Retief Goosen 71-74—145

Neal Lancaster 74-71—145

Stephen Leaney 70-75—145

David McKenzie 71-74—145

Scott Parel 71-74—145

Corey Pavin 73-72—145

Kirk Triplett 70-75—145

John Daly 72-WD

Rich Beem 75-WD

Rocco Mediate 74-WD

John Riegger 72-WD

Jonathan Kaye 78-WD

Missed Cut

Stuart Appleby 73-73—146

Marco Dawson 72-74—146

Clark Dennis 70-76—146

Scott Dunlap 74-72—146

Tom Gillis 74-72—146

Richard Green 72-74—146

Micah Rudosky 74-72—146

John Senden 70-76—146

Wes Short 72-74—146

Mario Tiziani 70-76—146

David Toms 72-74—146

Cameron Beckman 74-73—147

Markus Brier 73-74—147

Ken Duke 73-74—147

Rafael Gomez 75-72—147

Steve Pate 73-74—147

Ken Tanigawa 71-76—147

Michael Valicenti 74-73—147

David Branshaw 72-76—148

Tom Byrum 73-75—148

Steve Flesch 72-76—148

Niclas Fasth 72-77—149

Ray Franz 76-73—149

Kent Jones 75-74—149

David Morland 73-76—149

David Shacklady 73-76—149

Mark Calcavecchia 73-77—150

Mike Crowley 74-76—150

Kenichi Kuboya 78-72—150

Rob Labritz 72-78—150

Mark Mielke 74-76—150

Jose Maria Olazabal 77-73—150

Mike Reid 70-80—150

Jesper Parnevik 76-75—151

Chad Proehl 73-78—151

Doug Rohrbaugh 76-75—151

Tim Cantwell 77-75—152

Jose Coceres 75-77—152

David Duval 76-76—152

Kelly Mitchum 75-77—152

Tom Pernice 70-82—152

Roger Rowland 74-78—152

Peter Wilson 74-78—152

Lee Janzen 76-77—153

Steve Jones 72-81—153

Mike Small 78-75—153

Paul Streeter 78-75—153

Kevin Baker 79-75—154

John Bickerton 79-75—154

Jim Carter 75-79—154

Frank Esposito 74-80—154

Todd Hamilton 73-81—154

Robert Allenby 79-76—155

Jose Manuel Carriles 78-77—155

Larry George 71-84—155

Jon Mansfield 75-80—155

David McNabb 74-81—155

Alan Morin 73-82—155

Jeev M. Singh 76-79—155

Don Winter 78-78—156

Emanuele Canonica 76-81—157

Mauricio Molina 74-83—157

Del Ponchock 74-83—157

Chad Sorensen 78-79—157

Jim Farrell 78-80—158

Mark Tucker 80-78—158

David Bahr 79-80—159

Tommy Tolles 73-86—159

Roy Biancalana 79-81—160

Jim Empey 80-80—160

Jean-Francois Remesy 76-84—160

Mike San Filippo 78-82—160

Dale Abraham 81-80—161

David Hutsell 81-80—161

Eric Chiles 79-83—162

Jeff Roth 76-87—163

Walt Chapman 81-83—164

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: KitchenAid Senior PGA second round being led by McCarron, Ames