GOLF ROUNDUP : Roberts Makes Triple-Bogey on 18, Loses Lead in Akron
It’s too early to say Loren Roberts blew it. And the field of tournament winners from the past year, including Nick Price and Greg Norman, is way too good for Roberts to suggest he ever felt in control.
But Roberts’ triple-bogey on the 18th hole Friday dropped him from first to seventh place and tightened up the field in the World Series of Golf, setting the stage for a free-for-all on Firestone Country Club’s North course this weekend in Akron, Ohio.
“I think it’s looking like it’s going to be a really good finish on Sunday,” Price said.
Roberts, who shared the first-round lead with Craig Stadler at 5-under 65, had gone as far as nine shots under par until he put his second shot on No. 16 in the lake on the way to a bogey 6.
With that hole still weighing heavily on his mind, the par-4 18th turned into a nightmare. His drive carried over the lake but into the rough, forcing him to chip back onto the fairway. His 7-iron approach shot sailed over the green, and after chipping within 10 feet, he three-putted for a 7.
That left him at 5-under 135 after two rounds, giving the lead to the threesome of Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark McCumber and Steve Lowery, all at 7-under 133. One shot back at 134 were Price, Norman and Ernie Els, while Roberts fell into another three-way tie at 135 with Hale Irwin and Scott Hoch.
Roberts was still in the lead when the national television coverage concluded for the day. He then walked away from the 18th green and spent some time on the putting green and driving range before settling down enough to speak with reporters.
“I just didn’t want to do anything I’d regret,” he said. “I’m going to look at it like I had my bad round. I threw away four shots on the last three holes. But there’s no way I would say I let a bunch of guys in the field, because it’s only halfway through. Obviously Norman and Price are right there.”
Price kept himself in contention with a 4-under 66, showing no ill effects from in-office surgery to remove three cancerous moles from his back Aug. 15, the day after he won the PGA Championship. Price, who also won this year’s British Open, had the 12 stitches taken out Thursday morning, shortly before he shot a 68 in the first round.
Defending champion Dave Stockton, Tom Weiskopf and Jack Kiefer were tied for the first-round lead at the Franklin Quest Championship, a senior tournament which got under way in Park City, Utah, despite Bert Yancey’s fatal heart attack.
Stockton, who set a scoring record of 199 in last year’s tournament, Weiskopf and Kiefer shot four-under-par 68s.
Bob Murphy, Jay Siegel, and Charles Coody were at 69.
Betsy King, who is one victory away from qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame, shot a three-under-par 69 for a share of the second-round lead at the du Maurier Classic in Ottawa.
King is tied at eight-under 136 with Kelly Robbins (70) and Martha Nause (71).
Liselotte Neumann, who won the British and Swedish women’s opens the last two weeks, shot a 67 to share the day’s low round with Annika Sorenstam, Jane Geddes and Robin Walton.