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Golf Roundup : Fuzzy Takes Back Way to 2-Shot Lead

October 25, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Fuzzy Zoeller's bad back feels a bit better thanks to his back nine.

Zoeller made five birdies on the final nine holes Saturday at Tucson to take a two-stroke lead in the third round of the $600,000 Tucson Open golf tournament.

Zoeller, troubled with back problems for much of his career, birdied the 10th through 13th holes and capped his round of eight-under-par 64 with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. Zoeller's 54-hole total was 197.

"I'm playing very well right now," said Zoeller, who played the back nine in 31. "I'm driving it well, hitting the irons where I want to. I don't think I can hit the ball much better than I am right now.

"My hips are giving me a lot of trouble, a lot of pain. But that's OK. I can play with that. Just so it doesn't move up and lock in the back."

Second-round leader Hal Sutton had a 68 and was at 199.

Zoeller played the front nine in 33 but remained one stroke back of Sutton at the turn. Sutton birdied the next three holes, but so did Zoeller, who moved into a tie for the lead with a 22-footer on the 13th.

Zoeller went in front when Sutton bogeyed the 14th.

Jay Haas (65), Chip Beck (67) and Mike Reid (68) shared third place at 201.

Bob Charles shot a three-under-par 69 in a steady rain to increase his lead to three strokes after two rounds of the $250,000 Las Vegas Senior tournament.

Charles, from New Zealand, was at 136. Charles Coody, who had a second-round 68, including an eagle on the first hole and four birdies on the back nine, was at 139.

"The conditions were not easy, and it made scoring difficult," he said. "The major difference was that the course played 20 to 30 yards longer on every hole and you were hitting long irons into the green instead of short irons."

Charles birdied the tough par-3 No. 7 and the par-4 No. 9 to make the turn in seven under par. A birdie at the 10th was negated by a bogey at the par-4 12th, but Charles, who plays out of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., sank short putts for birdies at No. 14 and No. 15.

Arnold Palmer and Bobby Nichols were at 140 after shooting 71s.

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