Snoqualmie, WA – Tom Jenkins missed shooting his age by a single stroke on Saturday when he fired a 65 and took the second-round lead of the Boeing Classic.
Jenkins finished 36 holes at 9-under 135 and is two strokes ahead at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
At 64, Jenkins would become the oldest winner in Champions Tour history.
The current record holder is Mike Fetchick, who won the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational on his 63rd birthday.
"I've been pretty fortunate not to be in a lot of pain at this age and take care of myself somewhat," said Jenkins. "The whole key is flexibility, being able to have some kind of flexibility that you can still turn, you still have some core speed. As long as you can kind of maintain that. Some people can longer than others and I certainly am fortunate that I can play like this sometimes."
Willie Wood, who earned his first Champions Tour victory last week at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, shot a 4-under 68 and is alone in second at 7- under par.
Defending champion and first-round leader Mark Calcavecchia struggled a bit on Saturday. He shot a 1-over 73 and is tied for third with David Eger (68), Mike Reid (68), Jay Don Blake (70) and Mark O'Meara (64). The group came in at 6- under 138.
Jenkins broke into red figures in a big way with an eagle at the par-4 third. His 8-iron landed on the fringe, bounced high in the air and fell into the cup.
"Stuff like that happens, kind of gets you jazzed up and kind of gets you through the start of the round," Jenkins said of his eagle.
He followed that with a 10-foot birdie at the fourth and a 15-footer at the seventh and was in the lead at 6-under par.
Calcavecchia started poorly and Jenkins kept going lower. He kicked in a short birdie effort at the 10th, then rolled in a 4-footer for birdie at the par-4 14th.
Jenkins just missed the green at the par-3 17th, but holed the long birdie putt to get to 9-under par. He was three clear of the field and had a chance to pad the margin at the par-5 closing hole. Jenkins' 10-foot birdie try slid by left, then Wood birdied 18, so the lead was two.
"I've been striking the ball very well the last couple of weeks and driving the ball well, hitting iron shots solid, and it just happened to kind of gel this week," said Jenkins. "And I've been putting the ball in most of the fairways and not missing too many greens."
Jenkins is aware of the history at stake and being in this position for the first time in a long time. His last Champions Tour victory came at the 2006 SAS Championship and he isn't under any misapprehensions about Sunday.
"I'm not saying I'm going to win, it's going to be difficult," admitted Jenkins. "I've been in a couple of situations this year after the first round and didn't handle it very well, certainly not having been there, and at this age, it's tough. The nerves are not as good as they used to be and it's tough.
"Like I was telling people out there, I'm not really going to talk much about how I'm going to do tomorrow because there's a lot of golf yet, but if I can get on that 18th tee with a 5-shot lead, I'll guarantee I'll win tomorrow."
John Cook (69), John Huston (68), Mark Brooks (68), Rod Spittle (70) and Joel Edwards (70) are tied for eighth at 5-under par.
NOTES: Jenkins has seven Champions Tour victories, but won just once in his PGA Tour career...Bernhard Langer, the leading money winner on the Champions Tour, shot a 3-under 69 and is tied for 23rd at minus-2.