Tom Kite used a five-hole run of four birdies and an eagle en route to a seven-under 65 Friday and a two-shot lead over rookie Mike Heinen after the second round of the Houston Open.
Kite was one under through 11 holes when he birdied No. 12, eagled the 13th and birdied the next three holes to reach 11-under 133 after two trips around the Tournament Players Course at The Woodlands.
“All of a sudden the balls started going in,” Kite said of his 30 on the back nine. “Why? I don’t know. But I love it.”
His 65 was the best round of the day.
Heinen, who opened at 67, shot a four-under 68 in his second round. The nine-under 135 is his best so far during his first year on the PGA Tour.
Kite, the tour’s career earnings leader with $8.8 million, never has won a tournament in his home state of Texas.
“The people in Florida don’t make a big deal out of winning Florida. People in California don’t make a big deal out of winning in California. But we have our own little nation here in Texas . . . and we make a much bigger deal out of it,” he said. “No question I’d like to do it.”
Kermit Zarley and Larry Gilbert each shot six-under 66 to share the lead after the first round of the Las Vegas Senior Classic.
Zarley, who led last year after the first round, and Gilbert, coming off a victory last week at the Dallas Reunion Pro-Am, were two shots ahead of Jack Kiefer, George Archer and Raymond Floyd.
Zarley and Gilbert are among 56 players using the TPC stadium course at Summerlin for the first time since leaving the Desert Inn, the site of the $900,000 tournament for eight years.
Trish Johnson’s second-round 68 gave her a nine-under 135 total, one better than Michelle McGann, Sherri Steinhauer and Kelly Robbins after 36 holes of the $1.2-million Sprint Championship at Daytona Beach, Fla.
“It’s about time I started playing decent golf,” said Johnson, who said she had been lucky to shoot 67 Thursday.
Steinhauer, McGann and Robbins all matched first-day 68s to stay within a shot of the lead and build a four-stroke cushion over their closest competitors.
The first-round leader, Alicia Dibos of Peru, soared to a 76 Friday and was seven shots back at 142.