SAVANNAH, Ga. — When regular partner Jerry Pate was unable to play, Andy Bean turned to Lu Chien-soon. Turned out to be a good move.
Bean and Lu teamed to shoot a better-ball 12-under 60 in a steady, light rain Saturday for a 125 total and a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
“We have one more round to play, but I’m sure I’ll be getting a phone call from Jerry,” Bean said with a laugh.
Is it possible Pate will have to find a new partner next year?
“I think I got a pretty good one right now,” Bean said. “Yes.”
Bean and Lu played the final 10 holes in 10-under par to pull ahead of the teams of Blaine McCallister and Bob Tway (63) and first-round co-leaders Nick Price and Mark O’Meara (64).
John Cook and Joey Sindelar (65) shared the first-round lead and were alone in fourth place at 127 heading into Sunday’s final round of the Champions Tour event at The Club at Savannah Harbor, an island layout in the Savannah River.
Bean and Lu started the day at 7 under, three shots out of the lead. Bean’s birdie from 8 feet at No. 9 got them to 10 under at the turn and started their charge up the leaderboard. Bean holed out from 126 yards with a 9-iron for an eagle at No. 10. The duo birdied every hole after that until the 18th, where they settled for par.
Lu, a native of Taiwan, was an outstanding player in Asia who had to survive an eight-hole playoff for the final spot during Champions Tour qualifying school last fall.
“Good horse, man,” Bean said of Lu. “He lasts a long time. Load the wagon.”
McCallister and Tway made just two birdies on the front nine. But Tway hit a 3-wood to 20 feet and made the putt for an eagle at No. 11, then used an 8-iron from 157 yards for a hole-in-one at No. 15. It was the seventh ace of his career.
“It’s obviously a lot of luck,” Tway said. “You could hit a lot of good shots that don’t go in and it happened to go in.”
Winners of this event each will earn $230,000 of the $2.7 million purse.
NOTES: John Bland and Graham Marsh won the 36-hole Raphael division for players under 69 years of age at 13-under 131. Bruce Lietzke and Bill Rogers were a shot back. Gary Player and Bob Charles won the Demaret division for players over 70 earlier in the week. … Sunday’s forecast calls for additional rain showers with possible thunderstorms.