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Conner Shoots a 67, Shares Doral Lead

Golf Roundup

February 24, 1985|From Times Wire Services

Frank Conner shot a tournament-low 67 Saturday to move into a tie with defending champion Tom Kite and Bill Kratzert at four-under-par 212 after three rounds of the $400,000 Doral Open at Miami.

Kite, who had gone into the day tied for the lead, shot a 71 over the 6,939-yard Blue Monster course. Kratzert, although struggling down the stretch, managed a 69.

Jack Nicklaus shot a 69 to join Peter Oosterhuis and Mark McCumber at 213.

Oosterhuis led most of the day, but bogeyed the last four holes to finish with a 71. McCumber, who started the round tied with Kite and Gary Hallberg, was one of several players to bogey the tough 18th hole and carded a 72.

Calvin Peete, No. 4 on the money list and the only member of the top five playing this event, was alone at 214.

Hallberg shot a 74 Saturday but was still in the chase at 215, tied with Lee Trevino (71), Denis Watson (69) and Morris Hatalsky (73).

Conner had six birdies and only one bogey. He finished by laying a 4-wood three within feet of the pin on the par-four 18th and sinking the putt for birdie.

"I played very well. I hit it solid all day," said Conner, who has not won a tournament in 10 years on the tour. "I'm putting well, too. For the first time this year, I'm doing them both at the same time."

Kite came up with three birdies in the first seven holes, but then bogeyed the eighth and ninth to lose his momentum.

He parred all the way around the backside, and said a save on the par-four 17th hole was the key to the day. He had to play his second shot out from under a waving palm frond and left himself a 35-foot putt for par.

"I had the same putt last year and it broke to the right just before the cup," he said.

He missed the putt last year, but canned it Saturday.

Kratzert wasn't that fortunate. After taking the lead from Oosterhuis with a par on No. 16, he bogeyed the last two holes. He three-putted on No. 17 and knocked his second shot into a bunker on No. 18 for a pair of fives. Kratzert missed putts of 2 1/2 and 3 feet for the two bogeys.

Betsy King birdied the last hole to take a one-stroke lead over Amy Alcott after the third round of the $175,000 LPGA Circle K Tucson Open.

King, last year's leading money winner on the tour, blasted out of a sand trap within three inches of the cup. She made the put for a one-under-par 71 and a 54-hole total of 211.

Alcott did King one better by eagling the par-five 458-yard 18th hole. That gave her a round a 69 and second place at 212.

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