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Fleisher, Irwin Aren't Slowed by the Weather

February 23, 2003|From Associated Press

Lightning and gusts of 35 to 40 mph halted play at the Verizon Classic on the Champions Tour on Saturday at Lutz, Fla., with Bruce Fleisher at six under par and Hale Irwin at five under.

Fleisher and Irwin completed 15 holes in the second round as an approaching storm hit the TPC of Tampa Bay course.

"It was just hard out there," Fleisher said. "It was a continuous guessing game trying to pull the right club."

Sixteen players were still on the course when play stopped. Wayne Levi, celebrating his 51st birthday, was the clubhouse leader at par after a second-round one-under 70.

Levi birdied six of his first 12 holes. He was five under with five holes to play before finishing with two double-bogeys and a bogey.

"The wind on the front nine was blowing pretty decent, but not where shots were getting away from you," he said. "But the back nine they were."

Des Smyth (71), Jim Thorpe (72) and Dana Quigley (73) are all one over and a shot behind Levi. However, Fleisher and Irwin are the players to catch.

Fleisher will return to the 16th green today to face a three-foot put for par and Irwin will go to a 150-yard second-shot approach to the 16th green. Their closest challenger is first-round leader Mike McCullough, who is two under through 15 holes.

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Karrie Webb of Australia parred the only two holes she played to take a one-stroke lead in the rain-shortened ANZ Ladies Masters at Gold Coast, Australia.

Webb, who is seeking her fifth victory in the tournament in six years, finished off a six-under 66 with a 25-foot putt, giving her a 10-under 134 total on Royal Pines' East Course.

After completing the suspended second round in drizzle, play was called off for the rest of the day and the tournament was reduced to 54 holes.

England's Laura Davies was a stroke back after a 68. She birdied the 18th, the last of three she played.

Webb and Davies were among the 48 players who finished their second rounds Saturday morning after rain delayed the start of play for 2 1/2 hours Friday.

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