Kaupulehu – Kona, HI (Sports Network) - Dan Forsman torched the back nine in 30 round lead of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Forsman, who needed only nine putts on the back nine and 21 for the round, fired a seven-under 65 and finished 36 holes at 12-under 132. He leads by two strokes at Hualalai Golf Course, the site of the season-opener on the Champions Tour.
It was a tale of two nines for the leader on Saturday.
Forsman had a very average opening nine with eight pars and a lone birdie the par-five seventh. After the turn, he birdied 10 and 11, then played his final six hole brilliantly to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
At the 13th, Forsman's approach stopped nine feet from the hole and he poured in the birdie effort. He pitched his third at the par-five 14th to three feet and converted the short birdie putt to join the group in the lead at 10-under par.
After pars at 15 and 16, Forsman's tee ball at the par-three 17th came to rest 20 feet from the flagstick. He watched as his playing partner Michael Allen missed from a similar spot and the lesson paid off handsomely. Forsman poured in the birdie effort to take sole possession of first at minus-11.
Forsman's drive at the closing hole left him with a tricky angle to the pin, but it hardly mattered. He stuffed his approach inside four feet and rolled in the birdie putt to grab a two-shot lead.
"It was an exciting back nine for me," Forsman said in a televised interview. "I got off to a little bit of a rough start. The back nine I caught fire and finished 30 on the back for a 65."
Forsman endured through a rough 2011 season. He posted only one top 10, a tie for fourth at the Montreal Championship, but his 2012 has showed quite a bit of promise.
"I'm thrilled to be in the position I'm in," Forsman said on TV. "Early in the year, I'm getting started here. It's been magnificent at this point, hopefully it'll finish up nice tomorrow for me."
Allen bogeyed the last for a four-under 68. He is tied for fifth place with Jay Haas, who carded a three-under 69 Saturday, at nine-under 135.
NOTES: Forsman owns two Champions Tour victories - 2009 AT&T Champions Classic and 2010 Regions Charity Classic...First-round co-leader and reigning Champions Tour Player of the Year Tom Lehman only managed an even-par 72 and is tied for 12th at seven-under par...Fred Couples shot a six-under 66 and shares 14th at minus-six.