LA QUINTA, Calif. — When Mark Wilson got to 8-under through 11 holes on the Palmer Private course Friday, he seriously discussed golf’s magic number with playing partner Harrison Frazar, who once shot 59 on another Humana Challenge course.
“I don’t know why the conversation went there … but I thought about it,” Wilson said.
Wilson ended up posting the lowest score of his career, and the 10-under-par 62 wasn’t even the best round of the day in the desert.
Bob Hope’s name is no longer on this reformatted tournament, but its tradition of stunningly low scores is still going strong.
Wilson pulled even with Ben Crane and David Toms at 16-under 128 to share a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Humana Challenge on Friday.
Ryan Moore tied the Nicklaus course record with 61, yet he was still five strokes back of the lead – and he wasn’t even among 23 players who played bogey-free rounds Friday.
Crane shot 63 on the three-course tournament’s Palmer Private course, and Toms had 65 on the Nicklaus Private course to match Wilson at 16-under.
Rookie Harris English, a former University of Georgia golfer, had 62 on the Nicklaus Private course to join five players in fourth place at 13-under.
“That’s what you’ve got to do out here,” said English, who was playing his sixth round on the PGA Tour. “Put it in the fairway and then try to go out and get after it. I was getting my putter hot, and it was a lot of fun.”
Moore tied Charlie Wi’s 2009 record on the Nicklaus course.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii, Tom Lehman and Bruce Vaughan shot 7-under-par 65 to share the first-round lead in the tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Lehman, the player of the year last season on the 50-and-over tour, birdied the final hole at Hualalai Resort to match Vaughan at the top of the leaderboard.
Brad Faxon, Loren Roberts, Corey Pavin, Jay Haas, Dan Forsman and Michael Allen were a stroke back.
Defending champion John Cook opened with 69, and Fred Couples had 72.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In George, South Africa, Branden Grace moved closer to his second consecutive victory, shooting 7-under-par 66 to take a four-stroke lead in the Volvo Golf Champions.
Grace, the Joburg Open winner Sunday for his first European Tour victory, is at 12-under 134 at The Links at Fancourt.
Thomas Aiken (70) and Lee Slattery (65) were 8-under, and European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal (68) was another stroke back.