Bruce Lietzke, who now ranks golf way down on his list of priorities, mastered Riviera County Club with an 8-under-par 63 Friday to take the second-round lead in the Los Angeles Open.
Four players - Ted Schulz, Andrew Magee, Davis Love III and Jeff Sluman - were two shots behind Lietzke at the midpoint of the tournament.Lietzke, who had an opening 70 and began the second day five shots behind co-leaders Wayne Grady and Larry Nelson, began his charge immediately with an eagle 3 on the par-5 No. 1.
He then birdied the sixth, eighth and ninth holes to make the turn with a 5-under-par 30. Lietzke clipped three more shots off par on the back nine, making birdie putts on the 11th, 12th and 17th holes.
Love shot a second-round 65, Schulz had a 66, and Sluman and Magee had 69s.
Nelson had a par 71 for the second round to remain in contention at 6-under-par. Grady, however, faded with a 75 that dropped him seven shots off the pace.
Fred Couples, who won the tournament last year with a 18-under-par total, had a 70 Friday to lurk four shots behind the leader.
Lietzke, 39, has won 11 tournaments in his 17 years on the tour, but he last won in 1988 - the Byron Nelson Classic - after going the four previous years without a victory.
"Golf is number 4 on my list of priorities," Lietzke said, explaining that his wife, children and automobile collection are 1-2-3.
"I have more of a passion for cars than I do for golf. And fishing is a real strong fifth."
Although he has reduced his playing schedule and hasn't won recently, he's played well enough to make a good living, earning $307,987 in 1989 and $329,294 last year, when he competed in only 18 events.