MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Thongchai Jaidee shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday for a share of the second-round lead with Miguel Angel Jimenez in the American PGA Tour Champions Family Insurance Championship.
Thongchai birdied ours 14-16 and closed the round bogey-free at University Ridge with two pars. The 52-year-old Thai player is winless on the 50+ circuit. He has 19 international victories.
“I think green is soft, that way you can attack,” Thongchai said. “You hit a corner, you’re going to be able to attack the pin.”
He tied for 10th last week in Iowa at the Principal Charity Classic to enter the court.
“My first time here. I like playing here,” Thongchai said. “I think lucky. I am very lucky to have this tournament, last week I was accepted. I’m really proud to be here.
Jimenez shot a 68 to tie Thongchai at 10-under 134, rebounding from a bogey on 15 with birdies on 16 and 17.
“I’ve known Jaidee for a very, very long time.” said Jimenez. “We both played on the DP Tour, the European tour, and I played with him.”
Jimenez finished tied for second last year behind hometown favorite Jerry Kelly.
“Well, tomorrow we’re going to be in the last group and I’m just going to play golf and have fun on the golf course and everything happens,” Jimenez said. “There are a lot of players, very good quality players.”
Jimenez has 12 Champions victories, with the 58-year-old Spanish star winning the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai and Cologuard Classic this year. He won 21 times on the European tour.
First-round leader Steve Flesch (70) was a stroke behind with Paul Broadhurst (66) and Paul Goydos (67).
Colin Montgomerie (70) was 8 under with David Branshaw (66) and Kirk Triplett (68).
Kelly (69) and John Daly (66) topped the group at 7 under.
“Another pretty sloppy day.” said Kelly. “I just made bogeys in there that I shouldn’t have had, I didn’t make birdies that I should have had. It still wasn’t as tight, as neat as I would like.
Kelly, who is coming off a playoff win Sunday at Iowa, is chasing his third straight victory in the event hosted by his friend from Madison, Steve Stricker. Kelly won in 2019 and the 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stricker was 4 under after a 69.