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GOLF ROUNDUP

Kendall Pours It On at Bay Hill

March 22, 1997|From Associated Press

Skip Kendall, a regular on the Nike Tour last season, shot to the top of a crowded Bay Hill Invitational leaderboard with eight birdies Friday on a course that played long but soft because of overnight rains.

Play was suspended because of darkness, at 6:34 p.m. local time in Orlando, Fla., with 20 players still on the course, none with any chance of matching Kendall's nine-under 135.

One stroke behind was Stuart Appleby, the winner last week at the Honda Classic, and Omar Uresti, who started his week by playing a practice round with tournament host Arnold Palmer.

"People have asked when you have the lead is it tough to play, but when I have a good round going I want to make as many birdies as I can," said Kendall, who shot a seven-under 65 Friday at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge course. "You know someone else is going to do it."

And they did.

Appleby was 10 strokes better than his first round, making nine birdies and an eagle in a round of 63 that put him at 136.

Phil Mickelson had eight birdies in a round of 65 that left him two strokes behind at 137 with first-round leader Paul Stankowski and Loren Roberts. Mark O'Meara shot a 66 and was at 138.

Tiger Woods had another tough day striking the ball and was at 139 after a 71, and Nick Faldo shot a 70 to get to three-under 141.

Woods was fined $1,000 for slow play. His threesome fell a hole behind on the sixth hole when Woods removed both shoes and went into the water--hitting a five-iron just right of the green for an up-and-down birdie.

He was told he had two holes to catch up, and was fined on the ninth hole for taking nearly a minute to play his approach.

*

Don January and Gene Littler, the Legends of Golf champions in 1985 and 1986, shared the first-round lead of this year's best-ball event at La Quinta with Graham Marsh and John Bland at nine-under 63.

Miller Barber and Jim Ferree were one shot off the pace entering today's second round of the 54-hole competition.

Jim Colbert, the 1996 senior player of the year, and Bob Murphy, who won last weekend's event at Newport Beach in a nine-hole playoff, were among five teams at 65.

"My partner played great today," Littler said. "I have so much faith in Don's ability to play well. He's my friend as long as he keeps playing well."

Bland got his team off to a fast start when he eagled the par-five, 512-yard second hole on the par-72, 6,723-yard Arnold Palmer course at PGA West.

"That eagle really helped us get started," he said. "We had at least one birdie putt on every hole. We've set a goal of 30 under for this tournament."

Marsh and Bland picked up six shots on the five par fives, recording an eagle and four birdies.

*

Kelly Robbins, seeking her second victory of the season, shot a five-under 68 to share the lead with Barb Mucha after the second round of the LPGA Standard Register Ping tournament at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix.

Mucha, the first-round leader after a course record-tying 65, shot 70 for an 11-under total at the halfway mark.

Dawn Coe-Jones blew a chance to forge a three-way tie by bogeying the par-four 18th hole. Her round of 70 left her alone in second, a shot back at 136.

Laura Davies, trying to become the first LPGA player to win the same tournament four consecutive years, was at 139 after a 69.

So was Australia's Karrie Webb, who capped a 68 with an eagle on her last hole, holing an eight-iron from 144 yards on the par-four ninth.

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