DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Doug Garwood sent his approach on the 18th hole into the sand and sighed.
He was able to joke about it after nearly holing his bunker shot and saving par for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke lead Saturday in the Champions Tour's Principal Charity Classic.
"I hit the classic fat shot that the unknown leader hits on 18," Garwood said. "And then after that it was a pretty simple sand shot and I hit it close."
The 51-year-old Garwood, making his fourth start of the year and ninth in two years on the 50-and-over tour, had an 11-under 133 total at Wakonda Club.
Garwood is a conditionally exempt after blowing a chance to earn a full card when he bogeyed three of his final four holes in the qualifying tournament.
If he wins, he'll earn full status for the next year.
"I've never been in this position before," Garwood said. "I think what I usually do is I just try to play golf. I set a score, a goal for my round, and I just try to focus on one shot at a time and achieving that. The rest of the time, I can't control what the other guys do. I'm sure I'll be nervous. But that's part of the deal."
Last year, he tied for second in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. His best finish this year is a tie for 25th in the Allianz Championship in February.
Michael Allen, the Allianz winner, was second after a 66. Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Pernice Jr. were 9 under. Calcavecchia had a 69, and Pernice shot 67.