Jeff Sluman shot a 3-under-par 67 to hold off a charge by Leonard Thompson and take a 2-stroke lead in the second round of the $400,000 Southern Open golf tournament Friday at Columbus, Ga.
Sluman, who won the PGA Championship 6 weeks ago, shot an opening-round 63 and was at 130 after playing 36 holes on the 6,791-yard Green Island Country Club course.
Thompson, an 18-year PGA Tour veteran, matched that 63 Friday with a string of 8 birdies--including 4 in a row--to close in on Sluman. Thompson had a 69 in the first round.
Lance Ten Broeck, Mike Hulbert and Dan Forsman were at 133. Ten Broeck had a 65, while Hulbert and Forsman each shot 66s over the tight, hilly, pine-studded course.
The cut for the final 2 rounds was at 142. The major casualties were Hal Sutton, who had a 76 for a 151, and Nick Price, who shot a 73 for a 145.
Thompson, who has two victories on the tour (the last in 1977), put the pressure on Sluman by posting his 66 as the diminutive 5-foot 7-inch, 135-pound player was just starting his round.
“This is as good as I’ve scored this year, but it isn’t as good as I’ve played,” said Thompson, who has earned about $69,000 in 1988 and is No. 129 on the money list.
He started on the 10th tee and went on his birdie binge at No. 15, running in 4 in a row, before getting his only bogey on No. 1, his 10th hole.
However, he came back with 4 more birdies, including a 20-yard putt on his next-to-last hole.
Sluman, who had 5 birdies and 2 bogeys, was tied with Thompson after 14 holes, before dropping birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 to get the lead back.
Judy Dickinson shot a 5-under-par 67 in 90-degree heat to take a 1-stroke lead in the opening round of the $300,000 Konica San Jose tournament.
Dickinson, 38, the wife of former PGA Tour player Gardner Dickinson, had 6 birdies and a single bogey. Missie Berteotti was in second place with a 68, after getting 6 birdies and 2 bogeys.
Dickinson missed the cut in last week’s LPGA event, the Santa Barbara Open, and nearly withdrew from the San Jose tournament because of a sore back.
“The warm weather is good for me,” she said after the opening round on the Almaden Golf and Country Club course.
Behind the leaders, at 69, was a group of nine that included Nancy Lopez and Amy Alcott, who rank second and fifth, respectively, on this year’s LPGA money-winning list. Chris Johnson, who had a 69, was tied for the lead before bogeying the final two holes.
Defending tournament champion Jan Stephenson came in with a 71, and the season’s leading money-winner, Sherri Turner, had a 73.
Bert Yancey, a rookie among golf’s senior citizens, broke 70 for the first time this year and tied for the first-round lead in the $300,000 Seniors Challenge at Roswell, Ga.
Yancey, who qualified for the PGA Seniors Tour when he turned 50 in August, shot a 4-under-par 68 that included a 32 on his back nine.
But it was a couple of putts in the early going--a 6-footer for par on his second hole and an 8-footer for bogey on his sixth--that made the difference, Yancey said.
“There’s such a very fine line, a very, very fine line, between 68 and 76,” he said.
Yancey shared the top spot with Dick Hendrickson and George Lanning. Hendrickson birdied all the par-5s in his 4-under-par effort that, he said, “is like the round I’d like to play every day.”
Lanning, 56, who spent 21 years in the Air Force before he took a club job, saved his share of the top spot with a 28-foot par putt on his final hole.