Sunday, January 21, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, January 21, 2001

Nelson charges to MasterCard lead

Associated Press

For a guy who was not feeling well at the start of the round, Larry Nelson had a lot to talk about at the end of the day.

The three-time major champion matched the tournament record with an 8-under-par 64 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over Bruce Fleisher in the MasterCard Seniors Championship at Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.

Nelson, coming off a six-victory season, had an eagle and four birdies on the back nine to tie the 36-hole tournament record of 13-under 131. He also had two birdies on the front nine in his bogey-free round on the Hualalai Golf Club course.

"I wasn’t feeling very well this morning," he said. "I didn’t feel very sharp. But I got a 25-footer on the first hole for a birdie. That’s the way my day went. I didn’t hit the ball very well, but I just putted well - extremely well."

Fleisher shot his second 66.

He strung together three consecutive birdies starting at the 13th hole to take the lead, but he parred out while Nelson birdied two of the last three holes.

"The pin placements were cute," Fleisher said. "They didn’t make it easy for me. There was no way you could fire at them. My round wasn’t as exciting as Larry’s, but it was a solid round of golf."

Jim Thorpe (66) was two back at 133, Leonard Thompson (68) was fourth at 134, and Tom Watson shot a 67 for a 135 total.

Defending champion George Archer was last in the 32-man field. He followed his opening 77 with a 74. Jack Nicklaus was 31st at 149 after a 73.

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 2-under 70 in difficult conditions yesterday to increase her lead to four strokes in the Subaru Memorial of Naples at Naples, Fla.

The temperature dropped into the low 50s, and players faced 15-to-20 mph wind and rain early in the day.

"I like bad weather. It makes it harder for the others to catch me," Gustafson said. "I think this wind was tougher than yesterday. The par 5s were almost unreachable."

Gustafson, coming off a career-best 64, had a 14-under 202 total on The Club at The Strand. She won twice last year, the 27-year-old Swede’s first victories on the LPGA Tour.

Australian star Karrie Webb was second at 68-206.


New Zealand Open: New Zealand’s David Smail shot a 1-under 69 to extend his lead to three strokes after the third round of the New Zealand Open at Auckland. Smail had a 7-under 203 total on The Grange course. New Zealand’s Brad Andrews shot a 67 to move into a second-place tie with countryman Steve Alker (69) and England’s Roger Chapman (68) at 206.

Alfred Dunhill: Australia’s Adam Scott shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Johannesburg, South Africa. The 20-year-old Scott, seeking his first pro title, had an 18-under 198 total on the Houghton course. England’s Justin Rose (66) and Scotland’s Dean Robertson (67) were tied for second at 199.

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