Knee surgery hasn't slowed Mark Wiebe a bit. Coming off a victory two weeks ago in the Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic, Wiebe followed his opening 66 with a 65 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.
"I feel confident with my game," Wiebe said. "I played some good golf."
Wiebe reached 11 under to tie the event 36-hole record held by Bruce Fleisher (2000 and 2002). Defending champion Tom Watson (71) and Scott Hoch (67) were 8 under, and Tom Jenkins (66) and Mike Reid (68) followed at 6 under.
Wiebe had surgery Feb. 20 in Denver to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was back on the course hitting balls two weeks later.
"I had to talk my doctor into it," he said.
At the Cap Cana Championship, Wiebe won his second Champions Tour event in 12 starts since turning 50 in September. He had two victories on the PGA Tour.
"I don't anticipate him coming back to everyone else," Hoch said. "I think someone is going to have to go after him."
Hoch closed strong with birdies on 13, 15, 17 and 18.
"I started making putts," Hoch said.
Long ones at that.
His birdie putts at 15 and 17 were each 25 feet.
"I'm pleased with where I'm at," said Hoch, a two-time winner this year. "But yesterday I played much better and there's room for improvement."
Watson was stuck in neutral much of his round.
A day birdieing seven of his final nine holes, Watson opened with 13 straight pars, made birdies at 14 and 16 but gave both shots back with a double bogey on the par-3 17th after hitting his tee shot on the 217-yard hole into the water.
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