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GOLF ROUNDUP

Fleisher Leads With More on His Mind

September 27, 1997|From Associated Press

Bruce Fleisher, mourning the death of a close friend, shot a six-under-par 66 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the B.C. Open at Endicott, N.Y.

Fleisher's bogey-free round tied him with Grant Waite and Jim McGovern at eight-under 136. First-round leader Greg Kraft shot a 71 to drop into a tie for second at 137 with Andrew Magee, Robert Gamez and Stewart Cink, who had a 64, the best round of the day.

After he was finished, Fleisher wiped away tears and took a moment to gain his composure. He was at a loss to explain his fine play, for his mind was on more telling things than a golf tournament. He was a close friend of Nelson Gross, a New Jersey restaurateur who was killed in a botched kidnapping by three New York City teenagers earlier in the week.

"I can't even explain why I played so well," said Fleisher, 48, who planned to drive to New Jersey on Friday night to extend his condolences to the Gross family. "My golf is secondary this week. Maybe that's why I'm playing well. I'm not putting pressure on myself."

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Vicente Fernandez matched the tournament record with a seven-under 63--his best round in two years on the Senior PGA Tour--to take a one-stroke lead in the Emerald Coast Classic at Milton, Fla.

His score tied the tournament low set by Bud Allin in 1995, the first year of the Emerald Coast, and was two strokes lower than his previous best on the 50-and-over circuit.

Gil Morgan, Bobby Stroble and Larry Nelson, playing in only his third senior event, opened with 64s on the par-70, 6,719-yard course at The Moors Golf Club.

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A seven-under 65 gave Wendy Ward a one-shot lead over Liselotte Neumann after the second round of the Fieldcrest Cannon Classic at Charlotte, N.C.

It marked the first time at the top of an LPGA Tour leaderboard for Ward, 24, one of the more heralded amateurs in women's golf this decade.

She came to this event in 75th place on the money list and with no score lower than 68 in any of her 74 previous rounds this year.

But she opened with a 66 on the Peninsula Club's 6,318-yard layout, and her two-round total of 13-under 131 put her within striking distance of the 72-hole event record of 18 under, set last year by Trish Johnson.

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