Golf Roundup : Okamoto Takes Three-Stroke Lead in LPGA

From Times Wire Services

Ayako Okamoto fired a two-under-par 70 Friday to take a three-shot lead after two rounds of the LPGA Championship at Mason, Ohio.

Okamoto, a native of Japan in her sixth year on the LPGA tour, had a 36-hole total of 136.

At 139 were first-round leader Lori Garbacz, Pat Bradley, Mindy Moore, Muffin Spencer-Devlin and Ok-Hee Ku.

Okamoto, whose victory in the Elizabeth Arden this season was the sixth of her career, played consistently Friday, making 16 pars and two birdies.

Charlie Bolling shot a two-under-par 70 for a 137 total and took a one-stroke lead in the second round of the $500,000 Kemper Open at Bethesda, Md.


Fred Couples held a three-stroke lead after the first round but fell four strokes off the pace after struggling to a 77 and a 141 total. Couples, who tied the Congressional Golf Course record with an eight-under-par 64 in the opening round, had a seven on the par-three 16th.

Bobby Clampett, Mike Reid, Larry Mize and Leonard Thompson were tied at 138.

Roberto de Vicenzo shot a six-under-par 66 to take a three-stroke lead in the first round of the $250,000 Denver Post Champions of Golf senior tournament at Castle Rock, Colo.

De Vicenzo, 63, had an eagle, five birdies and one bogey.

Chi Chi Rodriguez, Mike Fetchick and Bob Erickson were tied for second at 69.

Gary Player, the PGA Senior Tour’s leading money-winner this season, and Bruce Crampton were at 70, and Gay Brewer, John Brodie, Buck Adams and Bill Collins were at 71.

Playing in the afternoon, when the course had dried out from persistent rain earlier in the week, eagled the par-five eighth hole, reaching the edge of the green in two and sinking a 20-foot putt.

Scott Verplank of Oklahoma State shot a one-over-par 73 to hold onto the lead in the NCAA Division I men’s championship at Winston-Salem, N.C.

Verplank had a total of 209, leaving him one stroke ahead of Brigham Young’s Eduardo Herrera.

Herrera and John Daly of Arkansas each shot a 65 to break the competitive course record of 66 set by Wake Forest’s Gary Hallberg during the 1979 NCAA tournament.

Weber State’s Carito Villaroman and Oklahoma State’s E.J. Pfister were tied for third at 213, while Daly and Florida’s Andy Zullo were at 214.

Oklahoma State was No. 1 in the team standings with 862 as Brigham Young moved up from 16th to second with 870. Oklahoma, which had been tied for first with Wake Forest, dropped to third (871), followed by Miami (873) and USC and Wake Forest (both with 878).

Defending champion Florida surged to a five-shot lead after three rounds of the NCAA women’s championship at Columbus, Ohio.

The Gators, paced by a pair of one-under-par 72s by Page Dunlap and Karen Davies, shot a combined 295 for a total of 885.

Miami, tied for the lead with the Gators after Thursday’s play, was second. USC, which moved into contention with the best second-round total, remained in third place, 18 shots behind Florida.