CARY, N.C. -- Tom Pernice Jr. moved into position to become the 15th player to win his Champions Tour debut, shooting his second bogey-free 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead in the SAS Championship.
"If you're playing good, it doesn't matter what tour you're on," said Pernice, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. "And everything's been pretty solid. All in all, I'm very thrilled."
SAS Championship Leaderboard
1. Pernice (-10)
T-2. Cochran (-9)
T-2. Forsman (-9)
T-2. Watson (-9)
T-5. Sindelar (-8)
T-5. Eaks (-8)
T-5. Price (-8)
Cochran struggled with his iron play after birdieing the first two holes.
"I hit way too many weak iron shots," said Cochran, making only his 12th start on the 50-and-over tour. "But I got away with an awful lot. The good start on one and two helped because I had given it away by 10. From 11 on, I played pretty good."
Forsman and R.W. Eaks held a share of the lead late in the round until bogeys pushed them back. Forsman hit his tee shot on 16 into the water, but salvaged a bogey on the hole. He followed with a birdie on No. 17.
Eaks, who struggled with a back injury through much of the back nine, bogeyed the last hole for a 69, dropping him into a three-way tie for fifth with Nick Price (68) and Joey Sindelar (69), two strokes back at 8 under.
Pernice, who turned 50 this month, has struggled this year on the PGA Tour, missing the cut in 11 of 22 events. He has one top-10 finish -- in the Bob Hope in January.
"I think there's still something left in the tank to compete against the best," said Pernice, who still wants to play a full PGA schedule next year.
But he also said he felt privileged to be among so many Hall of Famers at the SAS Championship.
"It's like a family out here," Pernice said of the Champions Tour. "The guys out here have been wonderful. It's a great experience to get such a warm welcome from the guys."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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