Craig Stadler used a delicate touch around the greens to take control of the richest event on the American golf tour.
“I got away with a few today,” Stadler said Friday after a second consecutive three-under-par 68 gave him a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the $2-million Tour Championship at Pinehurst, N.C.
“I didn’t play very well today; I really didn’t,” he added after his second nerve-racking test on the No. 2 course. “But there were a lot of very good chips and a lot of good putts. A lot of good up-and-downs, a lot of saving par.”
Stadler completed 36 holes in 136, six under par, for a one-shot lead over Paul Azinger, Russ Cochran and Nick Price. Price had the best round Friday with a 67. Azinger and Cochran each shot 69.
While Stadler was scrambling, others fell victim to the subtle demands of the layout built by Donald Ross more than 80 years ago.
John Daly, Ian Baker-Finch and Payne Stewart--the holders of three of golf’s four major titles--each had second-round 76s.
Seve Ballesteros and Jose Rivero of Spain shot a combined 138 for a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the $1.1-million World Cup Golf tournament at Rome. They finished 36 holes over Rome’s Golf Club Le Querce at nine-under-par 279, three strokes ahead of defending champions Bernhard Langer and Torsten Giedeon of Germany.
Ballesteros shot a 69 and is at seven-under-par 137 in the individual standings, one stroke ahead of Langer.