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Ballesteros of Old Tied at Top With Dashing 65

September 12, 1997| From Associated Press

Seve Ballesteros showed fans something they won't see him do at the Ryder Cup when he hit a four-wood 185 yards while on his knees Thursday to finish with a 65 and a tie for the lead at the Lancome Trophy in Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France.

Ballesteros is captain of the European team that will play the United States in Spain in two weeks, but he failed to qualify as a player after his worst season in 23 years as a professional.

"It was like the old days," Ballesteros said after sharing the first-round lead with Australian Peter O'Malley. "The best round I have played for three or four years."

Ballesteros is 174th on the European money list with $18,400 and 293rd in the world rankings. He has made only two cuts in 16 tournaments this year. In the only two major championships for which he qualified--the Masters and the British Open--he missed the cut.

Ballesteros has won the Lancome Trophy four times, most recently in 1988.

Memories of his dashing go-for-broke style of play came rushing back at the 522-yard sixth hole when, kneeling, he hit a four-wood 185 yards through a narrow gap in the trees and just short of the green.

He chipped up and made the birdie.

Ballesteros had six other birdies, and his only bogey came at the fifth where he three-putted from 40 feet.

One stroke back at 66 were Italy's Silvio Grappasonni and England's David Howell. Greg Norman was in a five-man group at 67.

Ian Woosnam and Lee Westwood, each of whom shot 68, were the best European Ryder Cup team finishers.


Despite an intermittent drizzle that chilled his aching spine, Dave Rummells shot a seven-under 64 and was tied with Charlie Rymer for the first-round lead at the CVS Charity Classic.

Playing in only his sixth PGA Tour event since taking five months off for back treatment, Rummells made seven birdies.

Even without Tiger Woods, the tournament at the 7,110-yard Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass., has its best field in two decades. Among the luminaries are three members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team--Justin Leonard (70), Brad Faxon (70) and Jeff Maggert (75)--as well as crowd favorites John Daly (72) and Fuzzy Zoeller (79) and defending champion John Cook (70).


Defending champion Karrie Webb, Annika Sorenstam, and Dale Reid shot five-under-par 67s and shared the lead after the opening round of the $550,000 Safeco Classic in Kent, Wash.

Liselotte Neumann and Michelle McGann highlighted a group of seven golfers at 68. Wendy Ward, Dale Eggeling, Jenny Lidback, Shani Waugh and Sherri Turner also finished at 4-under on the 6,246-yard Meridian Valley Country Club course.


Carol Semple Thompson won her second U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur championship with a 2 and 1 victory over Leslie Shannon at Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield, N.J.

Thompson, 48, of Sewickley, Pa., who won the title for golfers 25 and older in 1990, closed out the match on the par-three 17th when Shannon, 49, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., failed to make a 12-foot putt for par.

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