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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | SENIOR PGA NOTEBOOK

McCord Playing but Still Adds Some Color

March 11, 2001|STEVE HENSON

VALENCIA — Gary McCord, best known for his work as a color analyst for CBS, rattled off some choice one-liners after the second round of the SBC Senior Classic at Valencia Country Club on Saturday.

He called the rough "full of vitriol."

He said he "used a cornucopia of methods" to shake a putting slump, including "faith healers, palm readers, tea readers, graphologists, incantations and voodoo."

And, oh, by the way, he shot a seven-under-par 65 to pull within four shots of co-leaders Larry Nelson and Jim Colbert, who have a two-round total of 134.

Consider the slump shaken, although it might be difficult to pinpoint which precise remedy is responsible.

"Dave Stockton gave me some good advice too," McCord said. "I tried everything. You name it. Everything."

McCord's broadcasting duties have curtailed his play. He tied for 22nd with a three-under 210 at the Toshiba Senior Classic last week, playing for the first time since Feb. 18 and in only his third tournament this year.

"This was the first time I've had fun in a while," he said. "When you can't putt your brain starts to scream, then it slinks down between your brain and hands and there is no signal.

"But they went in [Saturday]."

*

McCord, 52, attended UC Riverside 30 years ago. He recalls playing Valencia Country Club in 1971.

"There was nothing out here and it was a helluva hard course," he said. "It still is. It is a very good shot-maker's golf course."

*

File this under "valid excuses for missing tournaments only applicable on the Senior Tour."

"My new grandson is taking up a lot of time," said Hale Irwin, who played in only three of the first six events this year. "Our lives have revolved around him and he's been predicating my play."

Larry Nelson also became a grandparent recently. However, he's been too hot to take time off.

Nelson is the Senior PGA Tour money leader with $584,960 in five events and he led the tour last year as well, earning $2.7 million.

Nelson is in position to record his seventh victory in his last 11 tournaments after firing a 64 Saturday.

*

Excuse Joe Inman if he is wandering around Wilshire Country Club this morning, desperately searching for his magic.

Inman won the SBC Senior Classic the last three years at Wilshire, but the course is 40 miles from Valencia, where he has shot 73 in each of the first two rounds and is 12 strokes behind Nelson.

"That's life, man," Inman said. "Got to move on."

*

Hugh Baiocchi made a hole in one on the 190-yard third hole, the first on the Senior Tour this year.

Baiocchi hit a five-iron past the hole from 178 yards and the ball spun back into the hole.

*

Tommy Aaron withdrew after shooting a 43 on the front nine because of an inner-ear infection.

Aaron, winner of the 1973 Masters, shot 76 on Friday and opened his round Saturday with fives on six consecutive holes.

* Second-round coverage, D10

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