Kelly, Clarke share Champions Tour lead | Ralph Lauren

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Jerry Kelly and Darren Clarke share the lead after 36 holes of the PGA Champions Tour opener at Hualalai after first-round leader Retief Goosen stumbled late.

American Kelly birdied the 18th for a five-under 67 to match Clarke at 13-under (131) with one round left in the first event of the year.

“You strive to be in the last group,” 54-year-old Kelly said.

“That’s what we’re out here for.”

Clarke had a 68, rebounding from a bogey on the 11th with four straight birdies.

“I just didn’t really have it today, to be honest with you,” said Clarke, the former British Open winner from Northern Ireland.

“Goose played really, really nicely and he just struggled on the greens a bit … So I was just trying to hang on a little bit, and then hit a few better shots on the back nine obviously. Holed a couple putts as well.”

Goosen followed his opening 63 with a 71, bogeying the final two holes.

“Just couldn’t make a thing,” said South African Goosen, the two-time US Open champion.

“Lost sort of my speed on the greens quite badly today, and if you have the wrong speed you can’t make anything.”

Fred Couples had a nine-under 63, the best round of the day, to join Kevin Sutherland (68) at 10 under. The 61-year-old former Masters champion eagled the par-5 14th and birdied 16 and 18.

“I hit a wicked 3-wood on 14 and curved it up on the green. It rolled about 30 feet and made it for eagle. It was a really good round,” Couples said.

Charles Schwab Cup leader Bernhard Langer was nine under after a 67. The 63-year-old German is a three-time winner of the tournament.

Jim Furyk had his second 68 to get to eight under, while Ernie Els was six under after a 69.

The tournament is the first of the year, but the season is a continuation from last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the tour for four months. It is being played for the 25th straight season at Hualalai Golf Course, the longest run a venue in PGA Tour Champions history.



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