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Bean Waits It Out in the Cold, and He Leads by 3 Strokes

January 16, 1987|RANDY HARVEY | Times Staff Writer

LA QUINTA — December, during a lull in the PGA Tour schedule, David Edwards and several other professionals from Oklahoma went skiing at Crested Butte in Colorado.

As a lark one afternoon, they dressed in their warmest clothes, their ski boots and their goggles and took their drivers to the top of the mountain. Edwards said they wanted to see how far they could hit golf balls from 11,250 feet.

Little did he know then that it was good practice for the second round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Thursday, when 512 players, including 128 touring pros, braved a steady rain, temperatures that never climbed above 52 degrees and unpredictable winds.

In short, the Hope played like the Crosby.

Andy Bean managed to shoot a 68 for a 131 total, 13 under par, and a three-stroke lead over West Germany's Bernhard Langer, then marched straight to the pro shop to have corduroy pants tailored for today's third round.

He'll probably need them. According to the forecast, the weather today won't be as pleasant as it was Thursday.

"I was freezing out there," Bean said, lifting his pants leg to reveal long underwear.

"They didn't help," he said. "I didn't have on enough clothes.

"You expect this at Pebble Beach. You don't expect it at Palm Springs."

With an eagle on the par-5 No. 5 hole at Indian Wells, Bean shot five under par on the front nine and couldn't help but think he might match the nine-under-par 63 he shot Wednesday at Tamarisk.

Eager to start the back nine, he had to wait.

And wait.

Even when the weather here is perfect, the pace at the Hope is slow because of the 384 amateurs in the field. When the weather is like it was Thursday, rounds sometimes move not at all.

Bean had to wait half an hour before he teed off on No. 10.

When he did, he said he felt as stiff as an ice statue. He bogeyed the hole, made up the stroke with a birdie on No. 14, then bogeyed again on No. 15 to finish the back nine at one over par.

"At least I get paid for this," said Bean, who will earn $160,000 if he wins the $900,000 tournament. "I wouldn't go out there on a day like this just for fun. This is not fun."

To think, the amateurs paid to play, some of them as much as $8,600.

The only person who might have had fun Thursday was Langer, who, as a veteran of the European tour, probably didn't think there was anything unusual about playing in this weather.

After starting his round with a bogey, he had seven birdies for a six-under-par 66, the day's best round, and a 134 total, 10 under.

Like Bean, Langer played at Indian Wells, which is the easiest of the four courses used for the Hope. The others, in descending order of difficulty, are PGA West, Tamarisk and Bermuda Dunes.

Everyone in the field plays each of the courses before Sunday, when the low 70 pros and ties return to PGA West for the fifth round.

Indian Wells is a championship golf course like Grenada was a war.

Of the 32 pros who played there Thursday, 27 shot par or better.

Even in the rain, the average round at Indian Wells was 70.5.

Those who played there Thursday, including Bean and Langer, are in for a shock today, when they take their turn at PGA West, rated by the United States Golf Assn. as the nation's most difficult course.

In ideal conditions Wednesday, the average score at PGA West was 73.7. It played more than a shot tougher for the second round at 74.8. Only 6 of the 32 pros broke par.

The player who suffered most was Edwards, who had the first-round lead after equaling the Indian Wells record with an 11-under par 61.

That was 13 shots better than his 74 Thursday at PGA West. He has a total of 135, tied for third place with Willie Wood, who shot 69 at Indian Wells, and Ed Fiori, who shot 68 at Tamarisk.

Among five players tied at 136 is Al Geiberger, who will be eligible for the Senior Tour when he turns 50 in September. He shot 69 Thursday at Indian Wells.

Edwards played PGA West to a standoff until the 18th, where he hit his second shot into the lake and took a double-bogey six.

He wasn't the only one who came in second best to PGA West. Only two of the 32 pros who played there had better scores Thursday than they did the day before at Indian Wells. Like Edwards, Gary Hallberg lost 13 shots, from 68 to 81. Gene Sauers and Dan Halldorson lost 11 shots.

Asked if he came off the last green feeling beat up, Edwards said, "I came off the first green feeling beat up."

But he wouldn't elaborate on the course architecture, which has been criticized by other pros for its sadistic nature.

"I don't build 'em; I just play 'em," he said.

He did, however, elaborate on his round.

"Under the conditions, you've got to survive the best you can," he said. "It's hard to concentrate for six hours. I was waiting around on a lot of holes.

"You've got to learn to turn it on and off. You can't concentrate for six hours without blowing a fuse."

Edwards brought warmer clothes than Bean but didn't put them on.

"You can stay warm, but you can't play golf," he said. "Or you can play golf but not stay warm.

"I'm still in good shape. I've got two courses (Bermuda Dunes and Tamarisk) I can shoot pretty good scores on. I've got a chance to make up some ground.

"Andy hasn't played PGA West yet." Bean said Thursday he wouldn't lose any sleep.

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