Sept. 23, 2017
PURE Insurance Championship: Second Round Wrap-up
By Gary McCormick
Saturday play at the 2017 PURE Insurance Championship at Poppy Hills and Pebble Beach Golf Links took place in the kind of blue-skies-and-mild-temps weather that the Monterey Peninsula revels in as summer turns to fall.
After dead-calm weather for Friday’s opening round, freshening breezes put a little more pressure on players threading the needle on Poppy Hills’ challenging approach shots, which played marginally tougher than it did in the first round.
Playing at Pebble Beach on Saturday, the Tour’s points leader, Bernhard Langer, started the day one stroke behind first-round leader Scott McCarron, but a second-round 67 set him atop the leeboard at the end of the day. Langer has been a dominant force on the PGA Tour Champions circuit this year, with four win in 17 events, including three of the senior tour’s majors.
McCarron dropped to T-5 after an even-par 72 at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Kenny Perry put pressure on Langer with a big second-round move, carding an eagle (on the par-5 second hole) and four birdies to go out in 30. Blocking his tee shot into the ocean led to a bogey five on the 10th hole—saved from double-bogey by a must-make 60-foot putt—but it proved little impediment to his round, as he went on to card four birdies on the back nine. A sand-save for a four on the 18th hole capped his second-round 63 (which ties the tournament course record for Pebble Beach) and pulled him to within one stroke of Langer, who had four holes left to play when Perry finished.
After the round Perry called it “(A) good day. A magical day. To have your name up there on this great golf course that’s, you know, when you talk about a golf course, Pebble Beach is right up there with any of them.”
A bogey on the par-four 16th hole dropped Langer back into a tie with Perry, but the Bavarian golfer birdied the closing hole to regain the lead.
In the first year in which a cut was instituted for this event (top 50 and ties for the pros, top 23 pro/junior teams, top 10 amateur teams) a pair of former champions, Esteban Toledo (2015) and Kirk Triplett (2012, 2013) failed to move on to final-round play. A total of 53 pros made the cut, which came at even-par.
In junior results, Annika Borrelli of Alamo, from the First Tee of the Tri-Valley, moved up 12 spots to finish the day in a 4-way tie for second place. The 17-year-old, a senior at Carondelet High School, played Pebble Beach today with her pro partner, six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo.