NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF.
Bernhard Langer birdied three of the last four holes for an 8-under 63 and a two-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic. Langer, the 2008 winner, had eight birdies in his bogey-free round at Newport Beach Country Club. The 56-year-old German won the season-opening event in Hawaii in January for his 19th victory on the 50-and-over tour. “I played really solid through the whole bag,” Langer said. “I hit most of the greens in regulation and I was happy with just about every club in my bag.” Fred Couples, Jeff Hart and Taiwan’s Chien Soon Lu shot 65, and Kenny Perry, Michael Allen, Kirk Triplett, Duffy Waldorf and Scott Simpson were another stroke back. Couples won the 2010 tournament, shooting 66-64-65. Last month in Florida, Allen beat Waldorf in a playoff in Boca Raton, and Triplett won in Naples. Defending champion David Frost opened with a 72. Langer tied for seventh in Boca Raton and tied for second in Naples. He has broken par in all 10 of his rounds this season and 19 of his last 20. Langer topped the first-round leaderboard for the 18th time in his career. In the first 17, he has gone on to win six times. He also tied for second in the 2012 tournament. Langer is carrying four wedges this week and used them all to set up birdies. He took out his 3-wood and replaced it with a gap wedge.
TROPHY HASSAN II
Spain’s Alejandro Canizares shot a 4-under 68 to maintain a one-stroke lead after the second round of the European Tour’s Trophy Hassan II. Canizares had a 14-under 130 total at Palais Royal. England’s Steve Benson was second after a 68. The Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed Palais Royal sits inside the walls of the Royal Palace of Agadir. Other than the tournament, the course is used only by King Mohammed VI and his guests.