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Golf Roundup : Fast Finish Gives Littler One-Shot Lead

October 04, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Gene Littler, braving chilly, windy conditions, birdied three of the last four holes Saturday on the way to a three-under-par 67 and a one-stroke lead at 137 in the PGA Seniors Tour's $1-million Vantage Championship at Clemmons, N.C.

Temperatures were unseasonably cool, hovering in the 50s. But it was the wind, which gusted to 25 m.p.h., that caused the most trouble as only six players in the 72-man field broke par.

Littler's closest pursuer, Gay Brewer, shot a 71 and was at 138. The final round is set for today on the 6,606-yard Tanglewood Park West course. The first prize is $135,000 in the richest seniors event ever.

Three players were tied at 139--Al Geiberger, Don January and Jimmy Powell. Geiberger and Powell shot 67s, while January had a 71.

First-round leader Orville Moody trudged in with a 74 and was in a group of four at 140.

Arnold Palmer rallied from an opening 73 with a 69 and trailed by five. Leading money winner Chi Chi Rodriguez followed a 72 with a 73 and was eight back.

Mike Fetchick, 64, won the separate 36-hole Super Seniors competition for players 60 and over. He shot his second straight 71 for a 142 total and collected $25,000. Roberto de Vicenzo of Argentina shot a 72 and was the runner-up at 147.

Britian's Ken Brown battled wind gusts up to 25 m.p.h. and shot a one-under-par 69 to extend his lead to five strokes after three rounds of the $400,000 Southern Open at Columbus, Ga.

Brown had four birdies and five bogeys on the 6,791-yard Green Island Country Club course for a total of 198. Mike Hulbert, who slipped to a 72 with bogeys on two of his last three holes, and Hale Irwin (69) shared second place.

Scotland beat the United States, 3-0, and England upset two-time defending champion Australia, 2-1, in the semifinals of the $1-million Dunhill Cup team tournament at St. Andrews, Scotland.

The U.S. team of Curtis Strange, Mark O'Meara and D.A. Weibring had sluggish starts in all three matches. Strange trailed Sam Torrance by three strokes at the turn; O'Meara fell four behind Sandy Lyle after eight, and Weibring was two behind Gordon Brand Jr. after three holes. They lost, 69-73, 70-71 and 73-74, respectively.

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