GOLF : Azinger, Norman Share One-Shot Lead
Paul Azinger played bogey-free golf for the second consecutive day to tie Greg Norman for the lead Friday after two rounds of the Doral Open.
Azinger saved par with a chip to within five feet of the cup on the sixth hole and with a difficult sand save on the 11th in a round of 66 that put him at 11-under-par 133 through 36 holes.
Norman matched that with a second-round 68 that could have been better on the Blue Monster course that, perfectly conditioned and in good weather, was something less than monstrous.
After going five under par on his first 10 holes, Norman’s effort slipped to mediocre coming home. He lost a one-shot lead when he missed the green and bogeyed the 13th hole, then had some trouble making putts, twice missing to the right.
Norman, who beat Azinger for this title in 1990 before dipping into a slump that lasted until his Canadian Open victory a year ago, remained upbeat.
“It was a pretty good performance today. I’m very happy,” he said. “I’m enjoying myself on the golf course. I’m enjoying playing golf. I’ve put my priorities in order, and I like what I’m doing. I like the way I’m playing.”
So does Azinger.
“Those scores were not accidents, not flukes,” he said after rounds of 67 and 66. “In two days, I’ve only had chances to make bogey three times.
“The rest of the time, anytime I missed a green, the chips were easy, the bunker shots easy.”
South African David Frost scattered 10 “threes” across his card in a 64 that left him one shot behind at 134.
Fred Couples continued to give indications he is regaining his stride, shooting 67 for a 135 total to tie Peter Jacobsen.
Tom Kite, winner of his last two starts and one shot off the lead after the first round, fell back with a 73 that included a double bogey on the 18th hole.
Jack Nicklaus was at seven under after shooting a 68, one shot better than his son Gary, who also qualified for weekend play with a 141 total.