Saturday, January 20, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, January 20, 2001

Gibson takes MasterCard Seniors lead with record-tying 64

Associated Press

Fred Gibson matched the course record with an 8-under-par 64 yesterday to take the first-round lead in the MasterCard Seniors Championship at Kaupulehu-Kona on the Big Island.

Bruce Fleisher and Leonard Thompson shot 66s on the 7,053-yard Hualalai Golf Club course, and Larry Nelson, Jim Thorpe and Dave Eichelberger opened with 67s.

"The course is perfect," Gibson said. "The greens do exactly what they’re supposed to. But there will be a lot of low scores unless the wind blows the rest of the weekend."

Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Gary McCord and Ed Dougherty had 68s and Hale Irwin, David Graham and Allen Doyle shot 69s. Defending champion George Archer was last in the 32-man field at 77.

"In two days a lot can happen," Fleisher said. "The wind could come up and make it more interesting. If it doesn’t, somebody could really get red-hot and just blow everybody away. The wind would keep everybody in check, make it more interesting.

"You’d get more guys involved, give everybody a chance. And it makes the players a little more creative."

Gibson, who gained entry to the invitation-only 54-hole tournament by winning the Vantage Championship, said his round could have been even better. He ran off nine birdies through 17 holes before stumbling on the 425-yard 18th hole.

The $1.4 million tournament is limited to players who have won a major title in the past five years or a regular senior event the past two years.


Subaru Memorial: Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson shot a career-best 8-under 64 in windy conditions yesterday to take a two-stroke lead in the Subaru Memorial of Naples at Naples, Fla.

Gustafson, a two-time winner last year, has a 12-under 132 total on The Club at The Strand. South Korea’s Mi Hyun Kim, the first-round leader, was second at 134 after a 70.

"It felt pretty comfortable for me," Gustafson said. "I like playing in the wind. It’s more fun. You can create different shots. Playing in the wind keeps me more focused."

Brandie Burton was four strokes back after a 69, and Dottie Pepper (69), 1999 champion Meg Mallon (69), Pat Hurst (69), Heather Bowie (70), Jean Bartholomew (70) and Laura Diaz (70) followed at 137.


Alfred Dunhill: Scotland’s Dean Robertson shot a 2-under 70 for a 132 total and a one-stroke lead over five players after two rounds of the Alfred Dunhill Golf Championships at Johannesburg, South Africa. Defending champion Anthony Wall (64), Ricardo Gonzalez (64), Nick Faldo (65), Des Terblanche (65) and Justin Rose (67) were tied at 133.

New Zealand Open: Hometown favorite David Smail shot a 2-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the New Zealand Open at Auckland. Smail is at 6-under 134 on The Grange Golf Club course. Peter O’Malley (66) and Scott Hend (70) were at 135. New Zealand’s Bob Charles, the Senior PGA Tour star who won the 1954 tournament at age 18, was at 136 after a 68.

Phoenix Open: Tiger Woods will play in the Phoenix Open, starting Thursday at the TPC at Scottsdale, giving the tournament the strongest field in its 69-year history. With Woods, the Phoenix Open will have the top 16 players from last year’s PGA Tour money list.

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