The Loop

Blackmar and Sluman go head to head. Or more precisely, head to neck...

October 30, 2009

SONOMA, Calif. - Great pairing in the final group of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship Friday: Phil Blackmar and Jeff Sluman, a foot of difference in their height, none on their scorecards Thursday as both shot six-under 66 to share the first-round lead at Sonoma GC.

Early in the second round the 6-foot-7 Blackmar and the 5-7 Sluman are playing to a draw, both even par for the day through seven holes and trailing John Cook, who is at nine under for the tournament through eight holes.

As the 52-year-old Blackmar noted after the first round, he used to be even taller. "I've shrunk lately," he said. "I was 6-7 and 5/8ths at my tallest. I'm about 6-7 now. I can hit it really straight off my knees, so I'm just waiting until I can get about that height so I can hit it straight."

In the points race for the Charles Schwab Cup, leader Loren Roberts isn't helping his cause. He is three-over for the day and T-28 at one-over through 11 holes. Pursuers Bernhard Langer (currently T-8), Fred Funk and Jay Haas (both T-17) are in position to put some pressure on Roberts, who entered the week with a 165-point advantage over Funk in the quest for the $1 million annuity.

-- *Bill Fields *