SAVANNAH -- Tom Purtzer had just finished explaining his tough luck keeping a playing partner in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf in recent years.
"Nobody ever wants me back," Purtzer said, in the self-depreciating tone popular at the Champions Tour event. "I don't blame them."
Purtzer sat beside partner Brad Bryant rehashing his round after the team shot 12-under-par 60 on Friday to lead after the first round at The Club at Savannah Harbor. Bryant broke some bad news.
"If we shoot 60 again tomorrow, we'll have to have a talk," Bryant said. "My brother (Bart) comes out (for the Champions Tour) next year."
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Purtzer might soon again be in need of a partner. But the team, even if this is its final year, has started the send-off well.
Bryant and Purtzer lead by two over four teams entering today's second round.
Among those at 10 under are Kentucky natives Russ Cochran and Kenny Perry.
Cochran grew up playing tournaments with Perry, who was a couple years and a few grades behind Cochran in Paducah, Ky. But after moving on to play at the University of Kentucky, the two didn't cross paths much until Perry was a freshman at Western Kentucky.
Perry approached Cochran on a putting green to say hello.
"I remember, it blew me away when he came walking across the green," Cochran said.
Perry had grown to a slim 6 feet, 2 inches, a contrast to the "short and dumpy," high school boy Cochran remembered. The pair, who squared off each year at the prestigious Irvin Cobb Championship at their home Paxton Park Golf Course, reunited again to play the Legends of Golf.
After their round, which included 10 birdies and no bogeys, Cochran and Perry shared memories of growing up and reveled in the recent NCAA basketball championship captured by Cochran's Wildcats.
This is the essence of the team event, almost a vacation from the individual grind of traditional stroke play events. The pressure is shared.
David Frost said he felt less pressure Friday paired with Michael Allen, who won this past week at the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am and leads the Charles Schwab Cup standings. The team made five consecutive birdies to start the first round and finished at 10 under.
The team of Brad Faxon and Jeff Sluman -- also at 10 under -- might have originated last October, when Sluman delivered a whip cream pie to Faxon's mug during a live television interview following Faxon's first Champions Tour victory.
Faxon, long known as one of the game's top putters, rolled in an eagle of more than 50 feet on No. 11. He helped Sluman with his reads and, after Faxon picked up on No. 9, Sluman salvaged the hole with a birdie.
"And then we went off to the races," Faxon said.
The team shot 7-under 29 on the back nine after going 1 under through seven holes.
Avoiding a dropped shot proved key for those at or near the top.
After both drove into the hazard on the par-5 No. 7, Bryant managed to save par. Cochran made a 15-foot putt to save par on No. 3 after he and Perry made birdie on the first two holes.
"If you make a bogey out here, it zaps your momentum," Purtzer said.
Purtzer and Bryant hope to bottle the momentum two more days. The team made four consecutive birdies during its back-nine run to snatch the lead.
"Our games sort of match well to this golf course," Bryant said. "... Just by the end of the day we made a few and it worked out great."
Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf
Friday's scores, at Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, Savannah; Purse: $2.7 million; Yardage: 7,087; Par: 72 (36-36)
Bryant/Purtzer 31-29--60 -12
Allen/Frost 29-33--62 -10
Cochran/Perry 31-31--62 -10
Faxon/Sluman 33-29--62 -10
Fleisher/Jenkins 30-32--62 -10
Bean/Lu 32-31--63 -9
Cook/Sindelar 31-32--63 -9
Couples/Haas 33-30--63 -9
North/Clampett 31-33--64 -8
Langer/Lehman 33-31--64 -8
Roberts/Simpson 32-32--64 -8
Browne/Pate 32-32--64 -8
Mize/Sutton 31-33--64 -8
Stadler/Goodes 33-32--65 -7
Kite/Morgan 33-32--65 -7
Senior/Lyle 32-33--65 -7
Hallberg/Pavin 32-33--65 -7
Jacobsen/Weibring 33-32--65 -7
Pernice/Tway 32-33--65 -7
Brooks/Glasson 32-33--65 -7
Gilder/Romero 32-34--66 -6
Calcavecchia/Spittle 33-33--66 -6
Blake/Funk 34-32--66 -6
McNulty/Eger 32-34--66 -6
Irwin/Baker-Finch 34-32--66 -6
Fergus/Levi 35-31--66 -6
Gallagher/Huston 33-33--66 -6
Quigley/Thorpe 34-33--67 -5
Jacobs/Zoeller 33-34--67 -5
Beck/Wiebe 31-36--67 -5
Hatalsky/Nelson 33-34--67 -5
Green H./Thompson 34-35--69 -3
Doyle/Vaughan 34-35--69 -3
Wadkins/Wadkins 33-37--70 -2
Sigel/Tewell 37-34--71 -1
Today's Tee Times
No. 1 Tee
7:45 a.m.: Curtis Strange/Ben Crenshaw, Blaine McCallister/Bob Eastwood
7:56 a.m.: Bob Murphy/Jim Colbert, John Bland/Graham Marsh
8:07 a.m.: Denis Watson/Steve Jones, Mark McCumber/Wayne Grady
8:18 a.m.: Des Smyth/Mark James, Roger Maltbie/Gary Koch
8:29 a.m.: Gary Hallberg/Corey Pavin, Peter Jacobsen/D.A. Weibring
8:40 a.m.: Tom Kite/Gil Morgan, Peter Senior/Sandy Lyle
8:51 a.m.: Larry Mize/Hal Sutton, Craig Stadler/Mike Goodes
9:02 a.m.: Loren Roberts/Scott Simpson, Olin Browne/Steve Pate
9:13 a.m.: Andy North/Bobby Clampett, Bernhard Langer/Tom Lehman
9:24 a.m.: John Cook/Joey Sindelar, Fred Couples/Jay Haas
9:35 a.m.: Bruce Fleisher/Tom Jenkins, Andy Bean/Chien Soon Lu
9:46 a.m.: Russ Cochran/Kenny Perry, Brad Faxon/Jeff Sluman
9:57 a.m.: Brad Bryant/Tom Purtzer, Michael Allen/David Frost
No. 10 Tee
7:45 a.m.: Mike Reid/Ken Green, Pete Oakley/Mark Hayes
7:56 a.m.: Tom Wargo/Dave Eichelberger, John Mahaffey/Jerry Heard
8:07 a.m.: Bill Rogers/Bruce Lietzke
8:18 a.m.: Tom Pernice Jr./Bob Tway, Mark Brooks/Bill Glasson
8:29 a.m.: Bob Gilder/Eduardo Romero, Mark Calcavecchia/Rod Spittle
8:40 a.m.: Jay Don Blake/Fred Funk, Mark McNulty/David Eger
8:51 a.m.: Hale Irwin/Ian Baker Finch, Keith Fergus/Wayne Levi
9:02 a.m.: Jim Gallagher Jr./John Huston, Dana Quigley/Jim Thorpe
9:13 a.m.: John Jacobs/Fuzzy Zoeller, Chip Beck/Mark Wiebe
9:24 a.m.: Morris Hatalsky/Larry Nelson, Hubert Green/Leonard Thompson
9:35 a.m.: Allen Doyle/Bruce Vaughan, Lanny Wadkins/Bobby Wadkins
9:46 a.m.: Jay Sigel/Doug Tewell