Duluth, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Miguel Angel Jimenez posted a 2-under 70 on Saturday to maintain his lead through two rounds of the Greater Gwinnett Championship.
Jimenez, who is making his tour debut, ended 36 holes at 9-under-par 135 at the TPC Sugarloaf.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer shot 4-under 68 for the second straight round to move into second place at minus-8. Fred Couples also posted a 68 to climb into third at 7-under-par 137.
Jay Haas (68), Kenny Perry (71), Duffy Waldorf (68), Steve Pate (71) and Chien Soon Lu (68) share fourth place at minus-5.
Jimenez birdied the first, but trouble was on the horizon. After a par on the second, he stumbled to a bogey on the third. Jimenez found water off the tee on the par-5 fourth.
After he found the green, the Spaniard needed three putts to get in the hole. The double-bogey dropped Jimenez to 5-under. He bounced back with a birdie on the fifth.
Jimenez got back to minus-7 with a birdie on the ninth. Around the turn, he parred the first three holes before making birdie on the par-4 13th. After four straight pars, Jimenez moved to minus-9 with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
"I was hitting not as well as yesterday. Not as good as yesterday, you know, but still make under par," Jimenez said. "My motivation for me is I want to win the tournament. That's the motivation. You need to motivate yourself and you want to win and you have to respect the guy that they also want to do the same thing."
Langer played the front nine with eight pars and a bogey on the par-3 eighth. Around the turn, he recovered that stroke with a birdie on No. 10.
The German poured in three birdies in a 4-hole span from the 12th. That moved him to 7-under and within one of the lead. Langer briefly gained a piece of the lead with a birdie at the 17th, but he parred the last to finish one behind.
"I got off to a slow start, missed a few shots and just didn't get anything going, didn't hit the ball close enough. And then hit a poor tee shot on eight and I didn't get it up and down, so I was 1-over for the front nine," Langer said. "Then, I really started playing nicely on the back. I drove the ball a little better, hit my irons closer, made a few putts. And if it hadn't been for the 3-putt on 18, I would have shot 30 on the back, which is a really good score."
NOTES: If Jimenez wins, he would follow Jeff Maggert as back-to-back first time winners ... The last time that happened was in 1980 ... Jimenez would be the first sponsor exemption to win on the Champions Tour since Phil Blackmar in 2009 ... Langer and Couples have consecutive rounds in the 60s, and all five previous winners this year have had three rounds in the 60s.