Larry Rinker tamed gusty winds with a bogey-free 66 Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the $1.3-million Las Vegas Invitational.
Rinker, a nonwinner in seven seasons on the PGA Tour, reached the halfway point of this storm-shortened tournament at 131, 13 strokes under par.
"I'm happy with the last two rounds," Rinker said after playing the Las Vegas Country Club course in desert winds that gusted to 30 m.p.h.
Rinker next plays Desert Inn under a format that calls for the 156 pros to play one round on each of three courses, each day with a different four-man amateur team, before the field is cut for the final round Sunday at the Las Vegas Country Club.
The tournament, offering $225,000 to the winner and the richest to date on the American tour, was reduced from its original five-day, 90-hole format to 72 holes after a series of storms disrupted first-round play Wednesday.
Hal Sutton, a former PGA champion and 1983 Player of the Year, chipped in twice for birdies and scored an eagle-3 in a round of 66 at Desert Inn and was second at 133.
Myra Blackwelder, six weeks from the due date of her second child, rolled in a twisting 25-foot birdie on the final hole to shoot a 66 and tie Jan Stephenson for the lead midway through the $225,000 S&H tournament at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Winless in her eighth year on the LPGA Tour, Blackwelder followed an opening-round 69 with seven birdies and one bogey to stand at nine-under-par 135. Stephenson, whose victory in the Santa Barbara Open two weeks ago ended a two-year winless span, was also at 135 after shooting a 66.
Cindy Hill fired a 66 to join M.J. Smith (69) and Donna Cusano-Wilkins (68) one shot back at 136, and Lori Garbacz and Chris Johnson each shot 69 and were at 137.
Bruce Crampton and Lee Elder shot four-under-par 68s to share the first-round lead in the $250,000 Sunwest Bank-Charley Pride Seniors PGA tournament at Albuquerque, N.M.
Crampton, coming off a victory in the Legends of Golf tournament, fashioned a five-birdie, one-bogey round over the 6,722-yard, par-72 Four Hills Country Club course.
Defending champion Gene Littler and Orville Moody were another stroke back at 69.