Couples top the leaderboard at the SAS Championship

Pierre Koutroumpis (@pksport)

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CARY, NC — As they prepare for the final round of the 2022 SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club on Sunday, it’s up to everyone to win.

By the end of the second round, Fred Couples was atop the standings with YE Yang at 8 under overall.

First-round leader Rocco Mediate, Jerry Kelly and Scott McCarron were just one stroke down at -7, while seven others were tied at 6 under.

Pairs shot a second straight 68 as Yang birdied the par-5 17th to join him on top.

“I play so little that it’s very exciting to play well when I do and I love it,” Couples said afterwards.

“I mean, I didn’t think I would have a chance to play good golf here and I did it well for two days and I just need to do it one more day.”

A set of notes for couples

So far, Couples has played the back nine in 7 under with no bogey and the front nine in 1 under.

Leading and/or co-leading for the 13th time entering the final round of a PGA TOUR Champions event, he holds an impressive 50% conversion rate (6 for 12) in producing wins.

With a win on Sunday, he would end a 5-year, 3-month, 21-day (or 1,939-day) winless streak dating back to the 2017 U.S. Family Insurance Championship.

To share it

For Yang, posting a 2-under 70 on Saturday put him in position to play alongside Couples and Jerry Kelly in the final group on Sunday, a first experience.

The 50-year-old is looking to claim his maiden Tour title in his 22nd event of the season which includes three top 10 finishes – the best, second place at the Ascension Charity Classic.

Just keep plugging in

With very little room for error on a course he admittedly loves to play, Couples is in the position he wants to be among such a crowded group.

“Basically when you’re playing tournaments like this where the courses are tough and everybody’s got 6, 7, 8 under, you have to shoot a really good round to win,” he said.

“Someone will shoot 6-under tomorrow and probably hit 12-under, which forces me to shoot another 68, which I’m very capable of doing and I feel good about myself. But, you know, I just gotta keep hooking up.

Notable: Mediate carded par par 72 and sits T3 at 7 under, with Charles Schwab No. 4 Kelly and McCarron… Charles Schwab Cup leader Steven Alker fired the round of the day with 6 under 66 to move from T40 to T6 on the leaderboard… Six other players are T6, including two-time champion Bernhard Langer (2012, 2018), 2017 champion Colin Montgomerie, Charles Schwab No. 10 Steve Flesch, Jim Furyk, Paul Stankowski and Tom Gillis.

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