Ben Crenshaw and Phil Mickelson couldn't keep pace as a couple of former champions moved into a tie for the lead Friday at the halfway point of the Shearson Lehman Brothers Open.
Dan Forsman and Steve Pate, each of whom scored his last victory in this tournament, completed 36 holes at 132, 12 strokes under par. Each was surprised to be on top.Forsman, the defending champion, has missed the cut in his last two starts.
Pate hasn't won since taking this title in 1988. "I really haven't had but a couple of chances to win in the last two years."
They played in the same group on the North course - the shorter and easier of the two public courses at Torrey Pines used for the first two rounds of this event - and had to fight the impulse to engage in match play.
"We were kind of feeding off each other," Forsman said. "We knew we were fighting for the lead, but at the same time we were aware of how much golf remains in front of us."
A case in point occurred on the eighth hole, their 17th of the day. Forsman made a birdie putt of about 40 feet to go two strokes in front.
Pate dropped a slightly longer one in on top of him to pull to within one shot of the lead, then gained a share of the lead with a two-putt birdie-4 on the final hole.
Pate led three different times during the day and Forsman once, and they were tied four times.
Pate, with birdies on his last three holes, shot 65, and Forsman had a bogey-free 64.
Crenshaw, the first-round leader, could do no better than a 68 on the North course - and had to drop two 40-foot birdie putts on the last four holes to do that. He fell back into a four-way tie for third at 133.
"I feel like I left a couple of shots out there," said Crenshaw, who is making his first start in this event in six years. "I messed up a couple of par-5's, and I missed a lot of chances."
He was tied with Emlyn Aubrey, Brad Faxon and Bill Sander, each seeking their first PGA Tour victory.
Aubrey birdied half the holes he played in a round of 63 and Faxon shot 64, both on the North. Sander closed up with a 65 on the South course, generally considered to be at least two shots harder than the North.
Jay Don Blake, with a 65, Robert Wrenn, with a 66, and Keith Clearwater, with a 67, were tied at 134, two strokes off the pace. All played the North course.
Mickelson, the 20-year-old left-handed amateur who won the Tucson Open and was a single stroke off the pace after 18 holes here, blew to a fat 40 over the back nine on the South course and barely qualified for the final two rounds.
He made double bogey after hitting into a canyon on the 14th hole, bogeyed the next two and shot 74. With a 140 total, he matched the cut score.
The final two rounds will be played at the South course.