Bruce Summerhays landed one drive on a cart path and the next in a creek but managed to salvage a share of the lead Saturday after two rounds of the $1.1 million Kroger Senior Classic in Mason, Ohio.
"It was a Jekyll and Hyde type of round," said Summerhays, who shot 69 over the 6,639-yard, par-70 Grizzly Course at The Golf Center just north of Cincinnati.That dropped Summerhays, who took a two-stroke lead into Saturday's round, into a five-way tie at 7-under 133 with Bob Charles, Frank Conner, Larry Nelson and Hugh Baiocchi. Five other players were one stroke behind.
Summerhays had three bogeys in a five-hole stretch on the back side.
"At 9-under, I really felt comfortable with my swing at the turn," he said. "I said, `Let's just keep cruising, hitting those greens and fairways.' But I didn't maintain my rhythm."
He had to take a free drop off the cart path on No. 13, which put him behind a tree and led to a bogey. The drop after hitting into a creek on the right side of the 14th fairway cost him a stroke.
"My glass is half full, not half empty," he said. "I'm very happy to be where I am."
Summerhays, 54, won the State Farm Senior Classic in July at Columbia, Md., for his second senior tour title. The former club pro and golf coach at Stanford University also was the first-round leader last week in Indianapolis, but ended up second behind Hugh Baiocchi.
Charles and Conner shot 64, the best rounds of the day, to equal Summerhays' opening round. Nelson and Baiocchi shot 66.
Charles not only moved into contention in the tournament but won the MasterCard Champions 36-hole tournament-within-a-tournament for players 60 and over.
He edged Harold Henning by one stroke for the $18,000 first prize and the possibility of much more in the main tournament.
"Let's worry about one thing at a time," Charles said.
Charles has played the best of anybody over the past 28 holes.
"After eight holes yesterday, I made a deliberate effort to slow my swing down, to get a better rhythm and better tempo," he said.
Larry Nelson, sidelined the past seven weeks by a herniated disc, said he has played better than he expected, although his putting let him down Saturday.
"Yesterday I hit eight greens and shot 67; today I hit 18 greens and shot 66," Nelson said. "So I improved my score one shot by hitting 10 more greens. Tomorrow I hope to put it all together."
Twenty players were within three shots of the lead going into Sunday's final round.
SOLHEIM CUP: At Dublin, Ohio, the United States came back from early deficits to win three of the four morning matches Saturday and build an 81/2-31/2 lead over Europe in the Solheim Cup.
Donna Andrews and Sherri Steinhauer won their match as did Dottie Pepper and Juli Inkster and Kelly Robbins and Pat Hurst.
LANCOME TROPHY: At Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France, Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 4-under 67 Saturday for the third-round lead in the $1.32 million Lancome Trophy, two shots ahead of defending champion Mark O'Meara.
Jimenez began the day two shots behind halfway leader Ian Woosnam but made an eagle and five birdies - one a vital 8-foot putt at the 14th - to finish at 9-under 204 over the par-71, 6,903-yard course.
B.C. OPEN: Dave Barr no longer has perfect balance because of a bad back. On Friday, the 46-year-old Canadian was perfectly wonderful from tee to green and gained the second-round lead in the B.C. Open at Endicott, N.Y.
Barr, who has won just twice on the PGA Tour - the 1981 Quad Cities Open and 1987 Atlanta Classic - shot a 7-under-par 65 for a two-round total of 9-under 135. That was one shot better than first-round leader Chris DiMarco, who had a 70. Chris Perry also shot a 70 and was another stroke back in third.