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Back With the Seniors, Stadler Leads

February 15, 2004|From Associated Press

NAPLES, Fla. — Craig Stadler shot a bogey-free five-under-par 67 in 30-mph wind Saturday to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Champions Tour's ACE Group Classic.

Stadler, back on the 50-and-over tour after tying for 35th last week in the PGA Tour's Pebble Beach event, had a 10-under 134 total on the TwinEagles course.

"It was a pretty good day of survival," Stadler said. "This couldn't be a harder golf course today.... I made a bunch of four- and five-footers, which in the conditions there was a pretty good chance you'd miss a couple, but I pretty much hit every one."

Stadler won the B.C. Open last year to become the first senior tour player to win a PGA Tour event. He also won three times on the Champions Tour after turning 50 in June.

"We had wind at Pebble, real wet conditions, so everything for four days is pretty much a knockdown," Stadler said. "After a week of doing it, you get somewhat decent at it. I hit a lot of knockdown shots today."

First-round leader Gary Koch was a stroke back after a 73. He made 15 pars, 12 of them in a row, and had one birdie -- on a 30-foot putt on No. 16.

"It was the kind of day that every time I made a par, it was kind of like, 'Whew, one less hole to play,' " Koch said.

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