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GOLF ROUNDUP : Ziegler (66) Gets In and Steals the Lead

April 16, 1993|From Associated Press

Larry Ziegler went from last to first in the PGA Seniors Championship on Thursday at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Ziegler, the last to make the field and the last man on the course, put a birdie-birdie finish on a round of 66 that gave him a two-stroke lead in the oldest tournament on the over-50 circuit.

Ziegler, 52, got into the 144-man field as the ninth alternate--just as John Daly did in his PGA victory two years ago.

"Sure, I thought about that," Ziegler said. "You take anything positive you can."

Ziegler, 49th on the senior tour money list last year, claimed his spot in the field after the withdrawal of club pro J.D. Turner of West Des Moines, Iowa.

"Usually they go down to 60 or something on the money list, but this year they invited a lot of foreigners and that cut out some spots," he said.

He had to battle strong gusty winds and dwindling daylight during his six-under-par effort, completing play moments before darkness settled over the PGA National Golf Club.

J.C. Snead, who abandoned his trademark hat in deference to 30-m.p.h. winds, and club pro Ed Dalton shared second at 68.

Jack Nicklaus played without a bogey and was tied at 69 with Harold Henning of South Africa, club pro Tom Wargo and Rives McBee.

"It's hard to get your mind back on golf coming right off Augusta" and the Masters, Nicklaus said.

"I did exactly what I tried to do. I knew it would be a tough day to play. I didn't do anything dumb. I took advantage of a couple of situations and played a good round."

Defending champion Lee Trevino said he was "very satisfied" with a round of par 72.

With club pros, who play in competition only infrequently, and super-seniors well over 60 making up a large part of the field, the overall scoring was extremely high in the difficult conditions.

The field average was 76.6.

*

Payne Stewart, bolstered by five birdies on the front nine, shot a six-under-par 65 that gave him a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Heritage Classic at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Stewart had a 31 on the front side, one shot off the tournament's nine-hole record.

"I wish I felt this comfortable on every course," said Stewart, who won this event in 1989 and 1990. "I know I've birdied every hole out there and so it's just a matter of going out and playing shots."

A shot behind Stewart were Lanny Wadkins, Dillard Pruitt, Mike Standly and Rocco Mediate.

Pruitt chipped in for an eagle on the par-five fifth hole to reach five under after a bogey on No. 4. Wadkins, who has missed the cut at the Heritage only once in 20 appearances, had five birdies without a bogey for his 66.

Standly, who won his first PGA event at New Orleans two weeks ago, rolled in a 60-foot putt from off the fringe for birdie on No. 17 to tie for second, and Mediate made birdies on his final two holes to get to five under at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Corey Pavin, David Frost, and Don Pooley were next at 67, and two-time defending champion Davis Love III was part of a large group three shots back at 68.

Masters winner Bernhard Langer had three birdies and a bogey for a 69.

*

Dottie Mochrie, last year's LPGA player of the year, withstood 30-m.p.h. winds for a five-under-par 67 and a one-shot lead over Michelle Estill in the incomplete first round of the Atlanta Women's Championship at Stockbridge, Ga.

A midday thunderstorm caused a 95-minute suspension of play, leaving 18 golfers on the course who will return this morning to complete the round.

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