Stacy, King Stumble to Lead at Los Coyotes : Golf: The final holes prove tough. Tatum, Kerdyk are one shot behind after 36 holes.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It seemed as if no one wanted to take the lead Friday in the second round of the LPGA Los Coyotes Classic at Buena Park.

If the leaders weren't exactly staggering down the stretch, they were certainly wobbling.

As it turned out, Hollis Stacy and Betsy King tied for the 36-hole lead, with Tani Tatum and Tracy Kerdyk a stroke behind.

Stacy shot a 71, one under par, for a 36-hole total of 138, six under. King shot a 70.

The last two holes on a warm day with light wind caused quick changes on the leader board.

Some examples:

--Sherri Turner was seven under par and tied for the lead as she approached the par-four, 393-yard 17th hole.

She bogeyed the hole, then had a double bogey on the par-five 18th when her approach shot from behind a bush went into a lake bordering the green. So she lost three strokes on the last two holes.

--Stacy, playing with Turner, bogeyed the 18th when her approach shot landed in the right rough.

--King had a double bogey on the 17th, but rallied for a birdie on No. 18 when she made a 20-foot putt.

--Tatum, the first-day leader, needed to par the 18th hole to maintain a share of the lead with Stacy and King.

But her 30-foot putt from the fringe of the green was eight feet short of the cup. Then she missed for a bogey.

"I played OK, but I missed three greens and made a bogey and double bogey," King said. "As for 17, I just made a mental mistake off the tee."

Stacy, a three-time U.S. Open champion who has won only two tournaments since 1984, said her "magic wand" putter wasn't as lucky on Friday.

She was referring to the duplicate putter of one that she borrowed from Judy Dickinson last week in a tournament at Kent, Wash., where Stacy had a round of 62, tying an LPGA record.

Stacy said it was hard to get her rhythm because the pace of play was quicker.

"I felt rushed all day," she said.

Most complaints on the men's and women's tour are directed at slow play.

Tatum, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Bishop, had a 66 on Thursday but had to settle for a 73 Friday. But she's still in contention.

She said she was pleased with her round, recalling a nightmarish tournament two weeks ago when she opened with a 68, then shot 86 in the second round.

"My goal was not to have an 86," the second-year pro said . "I just wanted to stay solid, hang around and not do anything bizarre."

Tatum said that grinding, methodical golf is not her style. She said she's at her best when she's carefree and aggressive.

"I went to the (Los Alamitos) races last night and had a few beers. . . ," Tatum said. "(Golf) is not that big a deal."

Turner was the leading money winner on the LPGA tour in 1988 with earnings of $350,851. She slumped in 1991, however, earning only $25,153.

Commenting on the last two holes, Turner said: "Toward the end, everybody was getting kind of tired. I know that's kind of what happened to me."

So she had to settle for a par 72. However, at 140, she is only two strokes behind the leaders.

Of the leaders, Kerdyk was the only one who played in the morning, when she shot a 71 for a 36-hole total of 139.

"The course is playing longer than it has in other years," she said. "It was harder today than yesterday. But I've been playing progressively better on the West Coast swing."

Golf Notes

The cut was at 147, three over par, and 74 players advanced to the final two rounds. Shelley Hamlin, whose battle with breast cancer was reported in The Times on Friday, made it at 72-73--145. So did Nancy Lopez, 72-74--146, and Amy Alcott, 73-71--144. Beth Daniel missed it at 156, as did Colleen Walker at 149. . . . Hollis Stacy said that the 62 she shot last week has given her confidence. "There is really no difference in the way I'm hitting the ball. I'm just making some putts," she said.

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