Rocco Mediate stretched his Senior PGA Championship lead to four strokes Friday at Harbor Shores, birdieing the final two holes for a 5-under 66.
Mediate did so just as wind conditions picked up and rain was arriving in Benton Harbor.
The 53-year-old Mediate opened with a 62 on Thursday to tie the tournament and course records set by Kenny Perry in the 2012 final round on the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout. On Friday, Mediate started play on the 10th tee and birdied the par-4 16th and 18th. He added birdies on the par-5 fifth, par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth, leaving an eagle putt an inch short on the last.
Mediate had a 14-under 128 total. He has two PGA Tour Champions victories after winning six times on the PGA Tour.
"Jessica my wife said, 'you have to own this and picture yourself with the trophy' and I'm like, 'it's Thursday.' But you know she has a point," Mediate said. "I want to go out there and try and keep going and see what I do. They are going to be coming and it's going to be fun. It's going to be a lot of fun. It's nervy. It's cool. I told Martin, I said, 'I'm kind of nervous right now.' Not shaking but I feel--I don't know what the word is but it's what you want."
Mediate will tee off at 12:40pm on Saturday with Gene Sauers who is in 2nd after closing with a bogey for a 69. Sauers is four back at 10-under.
"Makes me a little bit more hungry when I'm behind," Sauers said with a smile. "I don't like being in the lead. I like chasing from behind."
Bernhard Langer birdied three of his last four holes in a 64 to reach 9 under in his bid to become the first player to win all Five PGA Tour Champions majors. The 58-year-old German won the Regions Tradition last week in Alabama for his sixth senior major title and 100th worldwide victory.
"It's great because I don't want to be too far behind going into the weekend and really I played pretty nicely yesterday too, just didn't make any putts and couldn't get my ins close enough," Langer said. "Today everything was spot on pretty much."
Two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie (66) and club pro John DalCorobbo (68) also were 9 under.
Tom Lehman had an excellent day. He shot a 6-under 65 highlighted by a 20 foot downhill putt on 9. He's at 8-under heading into the weekend.
"I played well yesterday and really didn't get much out of the round," Lehman said. "But today, the putts started to drop and when the putts started to drop I started to hit it better, hit a lot of really good iron shots today which everybody tells you you have to do that. You've got to drive the ball to the fairway then you got to be really accurate with your irons to get yourself into position to attack your putts so I did all of that today."
John Daly missed the cut with rounds of 75 and 74.
You can watch 3rd round coverage of the Senior PGA Championship at 2:30pm Saturday on WNDU. Final round coverage starts at 3pm Sunday on channel 16.