Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wiebe takes lead in Outback Pro-Am

LUTZ — Mark Wiebe has spent most of his professional career trying to get to the top of leaderboards. He has grinded on the PGA Tour since 1983, winning only twice, the last in 1986.

So it's hard to blame Wiebe, 50, for taking a little pride in Saturday's second round at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. For the second straight day, he tore up TPC of Tampa Bay. He bested Friday's round by one with 6-under 65, good enough for 11 under and the tournament lead with today's final round left to play.

His 131 tied the tournament record for lowest two-round total, set by Bruce Fleisher in 2000 and 2002. It also put him ahead of his idol, Tom Watson, as well as Scott Hoch, by three shots. Watson entered Saturday with a three-stroke lead and shot par 71.

Mike Reid and Tom Jenkins were five shots back. Mike Hulbert was six back at 5 under.

"I didn't see a leaderboard until the ninth green,'' Wiebe said, referring to his last hole. "It was one of those electronic ones, and I saw I was leading. I thought, all right, that's cool. At the end, if you're No. 1, it's nice to see who you beat, for sure."

Wiebe (pronounced We-bee) recorded seven birdies and a lone bogey to tie Nick Price for the lowest round of the day. Wiebe bogeyed the 11th hole (his second) then birdied three of the next seven to make the turn at 8 under. He finished with a flourish, birdieing two of the last three.

"You don't know how many birdies you're going to have when you tee off," Wiebe said. "So seven birdies is always nice. I ended with a birdie, so my beer will taste a little better when I have it tonight."

Things didn't go as well for Watson. After catching fire on the front nine (his second nine) Friday and shooting 63, he cooled considerably Saturday. He started with 13 straight pars before finally getting birdie at 14 then 16. But double bogey on the par-3 17th, which included a tee shot in the water, negated his gain.

"My game is kind of like a thermos," Watson, 58, said. "It's hot sometimes and it's cold sometimes, but how does it know? I don't know. I played well from tee to green. I putted for birdie on 17 holes. But it was cold today, whereas it was hot yesterday."

Hoch, who has won twice this season, in Boca Raton and Naples, quietly put together another 4-under 67. His round didn't get going until the back nine, when he birdied four of his last six, including the par-3 17th and par-4 18th, the hardest holes on the course.

"I was resigned to the fact that it wasn't going to be that good of a day," Hoch, 52, said. "I was just trying to get one birdie in there, and luckily I made three out of four."

While Wiebe does enjoy the largest second-round lead in the tournament since Fleisher had a five shot lead in 2000, recent history is not in his favor. Five of the last six champions have come from behind, including Watson last year.

If Wiebe continues to play as he has the past two days, there may be no catching him. He knows what it's like to win. He captured the Cap Cana Championship two weeks ago in the Dominican Republic. He is trying to join Bernhard Langer as the only back-to-back winners on the Champions Tour this season.

He said he is right where he wants to be:

"You always want to have a chance to win on Sunday."

Rodney Page can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8810.



Mark Wiebe 66-65131-11

Scott Hoch 67-67134-8

Tom Watson 63-71134-8

Mike Reid 68-68136-6

Tom Jenkins 70-66136-6

Mike Hulbert 69-68137-5


TPC of Tampa Bay, Lutz. TV: 1 p.m., Ch. 8
Weather: Mostly sunny, low 60, high 84

Wiebe takes lead in Outback Pro-Am 04/19/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2008 6:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans previews 2017-18 NBA season, predicts Warriors will be dethroned


    Tampa isn't the greatest basketball market. In fact, it's just about the worst.

    Mike Evans and Jameis Winston celebrate after connecting for a touchdown against the Bears in September. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  4. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start


    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  5. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]