Scottsdale, AZ – Jay Haas fired a 10-under-par 60 on Friday to grab the lead after two rounds of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Haas began the day two strokes back of defending champion Jay Don Blake, then carded his career-best round, which also set the course record at the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Club. He now sits at 14-under 126 -- five strokes clear of Tom Lehman, who is attempting to secure the Charles Schwab Cup for the second straight year.
"I'm trying to stay aggressive and I did all day today," Haas said in a post- round television interview. "I felt like I was swinging well and I was getting a lot of good breaks."
Fred Couples, playing in his first event since late August, shot 66 for the second straight day. He sits alone in third place at 8-under, while Olin Browne (67) is in fourth at 7-under.
The top 30 players are in the field for this event -- the final regular-season tournament of the season, which will not only produce the Player of the Year, but also the money title winner and the $1 million annuity for capturing the Charles Schwab Cup.
Only Lehman, who shot 63 on Friday, Bernhard Langer and Roger Chapman are eligible to capture the Cup.
Langer carded a 65 and is tied for fifth place with Mark Calcavecchia (66) and last week's AT&T Championship winner David Frost (64) at 6-under, while Chapman is 1-under through two rounds -- good for a 21st-place tie.
The German Langer is 211 points ahead of Lehman and 657 points in front of Chapman in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup. Both Langer and Lehman can secure the Cup with a win, but Chapman needs help. In addition to a first-place finish, he needs Langer to end in a two-way tie for sixth or worse and Lehman to finish third or worse.
Regarding the money list, Langer currently leads Michael Allen by $406,808. In order to secure the money title, Allen would have to win this week and have Langer finish in 24th place or lower.
Allen shot 66 on Friday and sits at 5-under -- tied for eighth place with a large group which includes Blake (71).
Haas recorded three birdies without a bogey on the front nine, but didn't truly find his stride until after the turn. The 16-time Champions Tour winner opened his outward nine with four consecutive birdies, highlighted by a chip- in at the 10th.
After birdies on 15 and 17, Haas needed an eagle on the par-5 last to finish with a tour-record 59. Instead, he put his second shot in a greenside bunker and left his third shot several feet short before sinking a birdie putt for 60.
"I didn't think that bunker (on No. 18) was a bad place to be, but if you are trying to make eagle it is a bad place to be," continued Haas.
NOTES: Haas is seeking his second Champions Tour win of the season. He captured the Principal Charity Classic title in June ... Couples has been out since the Boeing Classic due to a balky back ... Last year, Blake shot rounds of 71-68-66-71 to win by two strokes over Calcavecchia, Haas, Loren Roberts and Allen ... There are six first-timers in the field - Chapman, Joe Daley, Bill Glasson, Gary Hallberg, Kirk Triplett and Willie Wood.