Lehman's 67 vaults him into Senior PGA lead
French Lick, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Tom Lehman shot a 5-under 67 in the second round on Friday and the 2010 champion grabbed a 1-shot lead at the Senior PGA Championship.
Lehman, an eight-time winner on the Champions Tour, finished 36 holes at 4- under-par 140. The 56-year-old is seeking his fourth career major title on the senior circuit.
While the scoring was better on Friday than day one on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, only five players ended 36 holes under par.
Defending champion Colin Montgomerie carded a 3-under 69 and is tied for second at 3-under 141 alongside Brian Henninger (67).
Esteban Toledo (68) is one shot further back at minus-2, while first-round leader Massy Kuramoto (72) sits alone in fifth at 1-under 143.
Lehman, starting the day at 1-over and two shots back of the lead, played the back nine first and immediately began his ascension up the leaderboard.
Birdies on three of his first four holes from No. 10 got Lehman into red figures for the day and the week, pushing him up to minus-2. A bogey at the par-4 14th was Lehman's lone blemish as he fell to 1-under.
Following a par on 15, Lehman drained back-to-back gains at 16 and 17. He made the turn with six straight pars from No. 18.
A birdie at the par-4 sixth pushed Lehman's lead to two at the time and he closed things out with a trio of pars from seven.
"It was a beautiful day to play golf. Much nicer than yesterday," Lehman said. "I was very fortunate, had a great pairing playing with Jay Haas and Colin Montgomerie, two great guys and extremely good players. They were both playing well. I was playing well. So it was a very comfortable round. We seemed to kind of pull each other along the whole day making birdies and some pars and shooting good scores."
Montgomerie was on the back nine first as well and played his opening nine with birdies on 11 and 17 to go along with a bogey on 14.
Around the turn with five straight pars from 18, Montgomerie surrounded a bogey on six with birdies on five and seven. He closed with a birdie at nine to pull within one of Lehman.
"Mentally you got to be very, very careful here," Montgomerie said. "Mentally you got to be right on your game. There's no hole that you can ease up on. Normally in a round of golf you got a couple of holes where you're like 'oh, OK, I can make an easy par here.' There's nothing here like that. Every hole is a potential double-bogey. So you got to be very careful."
Henninger made birdies on one and nine while tripping to a bogey on five. His huge back nine put him in a tie for second at the end of the day. Henninger made four birdies on the back nine at 11, 14, 15 and 18.
NOTES: Lehman's last win came at the Encompass Championship last season ... His other two Champions Tour major wins came at back-to-back Regions Traditions in 2011-12 ... Lehman also has five career PGA Tour wins, including a major title at the 1996 British Open ... Montgomerie is looking to become the first player to successfully defend his title here since Tom Watson in 2010-11 ... Henninger has never won on the Champions Tour ... With the cut falling at 8-over 152, 76 players advanced to play the weekend.