GOLF ROUNDUP : Kite Tries to End Drought on Wet Course

From Associated Press

Tom Kite, trying to end a 16-month victory drought, built a two-shot lead halfway through the Atlanta Golf Classic with a seven-under-par 65 on Friday.

"Any time you make the golf course soft, you make it a little easier," Kite said after taking advantage of the soggy conditions to make nine birdies, the longest putt covering 15 feet.

Kite had a nine-under-par 135 total for two trips over the hilly, 7,018-yard Atlanta Country Club course that softened up after two days of steady, light rain.

Jay Don Blake moved within one shot of the lead during his afternoon round before taking a bogey-five on the 15th, the same hole he triple-bogeyed in the first round. Blake shot a 68 for 137.

Mark Carnavale, a 32-year-old tour rookie, was alone in third place at 138 with a 68. Seven were tied at 139--Russ Cochran with a 66, Greg Whisman, Steve Lamontagne, Brad Bryant and former Masters champion Larry Mize with 69s, amateur David Duval of Georgia Tech with a 71 and first-round leader Mike Standly with a 72.

The only player to top $6 million in all-time earnings, Kite could go over the $7-million mark by finishing first or second.

George Archer survived trouble on the sixth hole and went on to shoot a six-under-par 66 for a one-stroke lead over Jim Dent and Don Davis in the Reunion Murata Pro-Am at Frisco, Tex.

Archer had seven birdies but was proudest of a bogey he made on No. 6, a 399-yard par-four. He hit his drive inches from the water and had to remove a red hazard stake to hit his ball. He slashed the ball forward, hit a sand wedge to the green and two-putted.

Dana Lofland shook off a scare on her first shot to card a four-under-par 68 and tie Judy Dickinson for the lead in the rain-shortened opening round of the Crestar-Farm Fresh Classic at Chesapeake, Va.

Lofland and Dickinson, both seeking their second victories of 1992, had five birdies and a bogey on Greenbrier Country Club's soggy, 6,391-yard layout.

Lofland, 24, believed her first shot on the first hole was out of bounds. She hit a provisional drive, but found her first ball in bounds and birdied the hole.

Because heavy rain caused a delay, 61 of the 126 players were unable to complete their opening rounds. They will have to return at dawn today.

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