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SPORTS WEEKEND | GOLF ROUNDUP

Waldorf Takes Lead by Equaling Course Record

April 02, 1999| From Times Wire Services

Duffy Waldorf stepped in front of the David Duval express, equaling a course record with a nine-under-par 63 Thursday to grab the lead after the first round of the BellSouth Classic at Duluth, Ga.

Duval, the world's hottest player, was only three shots off the pace after a soggy day at the TPC at Sugarloaf course north of Atlanta, site of the final tuneup for the Masters.

Waldorf, needing a victory to qualify for his fifth appearance at Augusta National, was planning to spend next week with his wife and four children, enjoying some time away from the course. However, he's willing to reconsider.

He tied the course record set a year ago by Tiger Woods, whose third-round 63 carried him to a one-shot victory over Jay Don Blake. Woods did not return to defend his title.

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Graham Marsh and Howard Twitty, warm-country natives ambushed by some of the worst weather in the history of The Tradition, responded with three-under 69s to share the first-round lead at Scottsdale, Ariz.

Their scores were the worst for opening-day leaders since 1990, when hail and rain washed out the first round and shortened the event to 54 holes.

This year, overcast skies and drizzle in nearby Phoenix became sheets of rain and sleet at the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain.

Leonard Thompson, Vicente Fernandez and Mike McCullough mucked through with 70s, with John Morgan, John Bland, Dana Quigley, George Archer and Dale Douglass at 71.

Ten players below par was a tournament record for futility, worse than the 15 who broke par in 1989, the inaugural year for the first senior major of the season.

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Michelle McGann, Hiromi Kobayashi of Japan and Cindy Figg-Currier shot four-under 68s to lead after the opening round of the LPGA's Longs Drugs Challenge at Lincoln, Calif.

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Mike "Fluff" Cowan will be back at work as a caddie in the Masters. Just not for Tiger Woods.

Golfweek magazine reported on its Web site that Cowan, fired last month by Woods, will be on the bag for Jim Furyk next week at Augusta National, and possibly longer than that.

Furyk fired caddie Steve DuPlantis after 4 1/2 years and gave Cowan a call after The Players Championship.

"I had a need, and there wasn't any finer man available," Furyk told Golfweek.

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