CALGARY, Alberta – Joe Durant eagled the par-5 18th for a 7-under 63 and a one-stroke lead over Miguel Angel Jimenez on Saturday in the PGA Tour Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic.
Durant birdied the first four holes on the back nine and bogeyed the par-4 15th before pulling ahead with the 15-foot eagle putt from the fringe on 18.
“In all honesty, I’m hitting it a little scratchy,” Durant said. “I’m not hitting it as solidly as I’d like to, but I’m putting beautifully. This is probably one of the best putting weeks I’ve had in a long, long time, so it’s really keeping me in the game.”
Durant had an 11-under 129 total. The four-time PGA Tour champion won the Chubb Classic in Florida in February for his third senior title.
“Tomorrow, for my nerves it would be nicer if I could hit it just a little better, but I’m excited to be in the position I’m in and we’ll have a one-day shootout tomorrow,” Durant said.
Jimenez birdied the final two holes for a 66. The Spaniard has six victories on the 50-and-over tour, winning major titles this year in the Regions Tradition and Senior British Open. He finished second behind Scott McCarron last year at Canyon Meadows.
“The golf course is in nice condition, it’s very fair,” Jimenez said. “You hit a got shot, you have a chance to make birdie. The greens are rolling very well.”
Kirk Triplett, tied for the first-round lead with Jimenez after a 64, had a 67 to drop two strokes back at 9 under. He has six senior titles, teaming with Paul Broadhurst to win the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf in April.
McCarron was fourth at 8 under after a 65.
“Making a putt on the last hole was the highlight because I missed everything I looked at it seemed like,” McCarron said. “I’m hitting the ball well.”
Esteban Toledo (67) was another stroke back, and Bernhard Langer eagled the par-5 11th in a 65 to join Doug Garwood (63), Joey Sindelar (67) and Scott Parel (67) at 6 under.
“I played really good today, really played great,” Langer said. “Could have shot 8 or 10 under, just didn’t make any putts. But the course was tough early. It was cold and windy, blowing 12, 15 mph out of the north, which is pretty cold.”
Parel won the Boeing Classic last week in Washington for his first tour title.
Canadian Rod Spittle, competing in his final tour event at age 63, was tied for 10th at 5 under after a 69. He opened with a 66.
Senior newcomer Darren Clarke (66) and Davis Love III (68) were 4 under. Vijay Singh was 1 under after a 69.