Steve Flesch takes PGA Tour Champions lead in Madison

Sports

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Steve Flesch birdied the final three holes for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead Saturday in the American Family Insurance Championship, with tournament host Steve Stricker a stroke back in his hometown tournament.

The 52-year-old Flesch played the back nine at University Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 11-under 133. He won the 2018 Mitsubishi Electric Classic for his lone PGA Tour Champions title after winning four times on the PGA Tour.

“Hit a lot of good shots, had a lot of opportunities,” Flesch said. “Greens are perfect, and today I made three more than I did yesterday. So two good rounds. It’s nice because I haven’t particularly played well here in my two previous showings.”

He was part of Fox’s broadcast team last week at the U.S. Open.

“I didn’t even have my clubs with me,” Flesch said. “I flew home from there and didn’t even fly up here until Wednesday, so I had a nice week and a half off from playing any golf, although I was immersed in maybe the biggest championship going on in the world.”

Stricker eagled the par-5 16th in a 67.

“Tough day,” Stricker said. “It was gusty, swirling wind. It was tough to pick the right club, so it made for a bit more of a challenge today.”

Billy Andrade (66) and Duffy Waldorf (67) also were 10 under. First-round leader Jerry Kelly, also from Madison, shot a 70 to drop into a tie for fifth at 9 under with Retief Goosen (66) and Tom Pernice (67).

John Daly was four strokes back at 7 under after a 69, and defending champion Scott McCarron had a 67 to get to 6 under.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was last in the 78-man field at 10 over after rounds of 76 and 78. Making his third tour start, the former Atlanta Braves star got into the field on a sponsor exemption.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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