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Golf Roundup : Allem, Late Substitute, Is Million Dollar Challenge Leader

December 04, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Fulton Allem of South Africa, the least-known of the eight golfers in the Million Dollar Challenge, shot a six-under-par 66 Thursday to take the lead in the chase for the richest prize in golf history at Sun City, South Africa .

Allem, a last-minute replacement for countryman Mark McNulty, who has pneumonia, won the first of four $50,000 prizes for the best round each day. Aside from these bonuses, only the winner will get a check Sunday--for $1 million.

A three-foot putt on the final green earned Allem his seventh birdie and gave him a one-shot lead in the first round over Welshman Ian Woosnam, top money-winner on the European tour.

All eight players equaled or bettered par on the 7,665-yard course designed by South African golfer Gary Player.

Tied for third at 68 were Nick Faldo of Britain, the reigning British Open champion, and Jose-Maria Olazabal of Spain.

Bernhard Langer of West Germany and David Frost of South Africa were next with 70s, and the two Americans brought up the rear--Lanny Wadkins at 71 and Curtis Strange, leading money-winner on the PGA Tour, at 72.

Allem, one of the top players on South Africa's Sunshine Circuit, was virtually unknown overseas until this season, when he finished second to Strange in the World Series of Golf at Akron, Ohio.

The odd-couple matchup of PGA neophyte Kenny Perry and LPGA veteran Sally Little combined for 10 birdies and a 62, giving them a three-stroke lead in the opening round of the $650,000 Mixed Team tournament at Largo, Fla.

The pair made five birdies on both the front and back sides of the Bardmoor Country Club course in 70-degree temperature and virtually no wind.

Four teams were at 65--Mike Hulbert and Val Skinner, Steve Jones and Jane Crafter, Paul Azinger and Jan Stephenson and Morris Hatalsky and Donna White.

Isao Aoki made an eagle en route to a six-under-par 67 and a one-stroke first-round lead in the $225,000 Japan Series tournament at Nishinomiya, Japan.

Masashi (Jumbo) Ozaki, also had an eagle and shot a 68. He was tied with Australian Brian Jones. David Ishii, the Japan Tour's leading money winner, was next at 69.

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