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Golf Roundup : Slump-Mired Irwin Is Canadian Leader at 68

From Times Wire Services

Hale Irwin, mired in the worst slump of his long career, shot a four-under-par 68 Thursday and took a one stroke lead after the first round of the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in the Toronto suburb of Oakville.

A stroke back were Andy Bean, a two-time winner already this season, Brad Fabel, Clarence Rose, Mike Donald, Denny Hepler and Dan Halldorson, seeking to become the first Canadian to win this title since 1954.

“I’m trying to make golf fun again. It has not been a lot of fun all this year,” said Irwin, who once went almost four seasons without missing a cut. This year, he has missed in seven of 15 starts.

“I haven’t been playing that badly, I really haven’t--but the results have been terrible,” said Irwin. “It’s just a little thing here, a little thing there, and I’ve turned a 68 into a 72 or 73 and all of a sudden I’m struggling.”

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Bob Tway, who leads the PGA Tour with three victories this season, had a 70 that left him only two back.

Defending champion Curtis Strange was at 73. Masters champion Jack Nicklaus, seven times a runner-up in this event, and Lee Trevino, a three-time Canadian Open winner, each shot 74s.

Dale Douglass shot a record five-under-par 66 for a two-stroke lead over Lee Elder after the first round of the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.

Douglass’ round of seven birdies and two bogeys was two strokes better than the previous first-round record of 68, set by Walter Zembriski last year.

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Three shots back at 69 were Jim Ferree, Jim Hatfield and Ken Still.

Debbie Massey, winless on the tour since 1979, shot a five-under-par 67 for the first-round lead in the $350,000 LPGA Mayflower tournament at Indianapolis.

Massey held a one-stroke edge over Jan Stephenson and Sandra Palmer.

There was a four-way tie for third at 69. The group included Margaret Ward, who has missed the cut 10 times this year and hasn’t finished higher than a tie for 29th in three years on the tour, and defending champion Alice Miller. They were joined by Patty Sheehan and Australian Jane Crafter.

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Ron Commans of Westlake Village, Calif., shot a six-under-par 63 for a 129 total and a two-shot lead over Michael McLean of Britain after two rounds of the $245,000 Monte Carlo Open at Mont Agel, France. McLean shot a 64 Thursday.

British Open champion Sandy Lyle, who held a share of the first-round lead, had a 67 for a 132.


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