Saturday, May 3, 2003

Verplank vaults to lead after 63


Atop by 3 strokes with 16-under 128 at HP Classic

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Scott Verplank enjoys his annual trip to New Orleans regardless of how he plays, because it gives him a chance to reminisce about a departed friend.

After shooting a 63 Friday in the second round of the HP Classic, this year's visit to English Turn has a chance to be special for Verplank.

His 16-under 128 gave him a three-stroke lead and a 36-hole tournament record as the par-72, 7,116-yard course continued to yield low scores.

Brian Gay and Todd Barranger, players who have rarely made a cut this season, were tied for second.

Davis Love III and first-round co-leader Akio Sadakata, who shot a front-nine 29 Thursday, were among five players another stroke back.

Tommy Moore, Verplank's teammate at Oklahoma State, was the golf instructor at English Turn before he died of a rare blood disorder in 1998 at age 35.

Moore played on the PGA Tour from 1990-94. Verplank said he had dinner with Tracy Moore, his widow, on Thursday night.

"Yeah, winning here would be extra cool because his widow is here and their son, and his mom and dad still live here," said Verplank, who was two years behind Moore in school. "He was kind of my guide through college, and we were roommates and good buddies. He had a big influence on me."

Verplank made nine birdies Friday, despite struggling with his accuracy off the tee.

"It was one of those days the hole kept getting in the way of my putts," said Verplank, who has four career wins - the last in 2001. "When you continually make 10-15-footers, it makes up for a lot of mess-ups."

While Verplank was cashing in with his putter, Love's kept letting him down. Love two-putted the final six holes, including a bogey on 18. He shot a 67.

"I hit the ball real well, and today I didn't make as many putts," said Love, who is looking for his fourth victory of the season. "I actually misread a couple of putts and didn't hit a couple very good on that second nine, but all in all I'm playing pretty good."

Most of his misses were from 8-15 feet and off by no more than a few inches. But if the tour's leading money winner was frustrated, it hardly showed. A slight head shake after his 8-footer on 17 failed to break left was as animated as the unflappable 39-year-old would get.

Gay had seven birdies and, like Love, dropped a shot with a bogey on 18 to finish his round. Though Gay's 18th could have been much worse.

He hooked his first shot into the water, then had a bad lie on his drop. He had to make a 14-foot putt just to make a 5 on the challenging 471-yard hole.

The 5-under cut was the second-lowest this season.

Phil Mickelson just made it, but local favorite and LSU alum David Toms (-3) and Masters runner-up Len Mattiace (-2) were not so fortunate.

"The par-5s are playing real short," said rookie Mark Wilson, who shot a 67 and is tied for fourth. "I'm not a long hitter at all and I hit a 5-iron into the island green par-5, so I can just imagine guys like Davis or Vijay (Singh) probably got an 8-iron on that green."

• John Daly withdrew from the HP Classic on Friday after injuring his right wrist.

LPGA TOUR: Lorena Ochoa has been a model of consistency at the Michelob Light Open at Williamsburg, Va., playing 36 holes without a bogey. Grace Park's two rounds have included 11 birdies, four bogeys and an eagle followed immediately by a double-bogey.

They ended up in the same place Friday, as co-leaders with a 7-under par 135. They led by one stroke over Suzann Pettersen, who bogeyed two of her final three holes to give up the lead, and Akiko Fukushima, who birdied two of her final three holes.

Club pro Suzy Whaley, playing on a sponsor's exemption, finished 8-over and missed the cut. Like Annika Sorenstam, who will play against the men later this month at the Colonial, Whaley will play the PGA's Greater Hartford Open, after qualifying for that tournament by winning a sectional.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Hale Irwin shot a 7-under 65 and held a one-stroke lead over Larry Ziegler and Bruce Fleisher in the first round of the Bruno's Memorial Classic at Hoover, Ala. Irwin had five birdies on the final nine holes on the 6,992-yard, par-72 Founder's Course at the Greystone Golf Club.

ITALIAN OPEN: Sweden's Fredrik Widmark shot a 7-under-par 65 to share the second-round lead at the $1.2 million tournament in Brescia.

Australia's Peter O'Malley, who defeated Tiger Woods in the first round of the 2002 Match Play Championship, bogeyed No. 18 for a 2-under 70 and was tied with Widmark at 10-under 134.

O'Malley had a first-round 64 that equaled the course record set by Bernhard Langer when the German won the tournament in 1997.

Rolf Muntz shot a 6-under 66 and was one shot back in third place.

Colin Montgomerie, playing in Europe for the first time this season, shot a 67 and was three shots behind the leaders.

Friday's scores

PGA Tour

HP Classic of New Orleans

At English Turn GCC; New Orleans

$5 million; Yardage: 7,116; Par 72

Scott Verplank65-63-128
Brian Gay65-66-131
Todd Barranger66-65-131
Davis Love III65-67-132
Bob Estes66-66-132
Kirk Triplett66-66-132
Mark Wilson65-67-132
Akio Sadakata64-68-132
Paul Stankowski64-69-133
Stephen Ames65-68-133
Geoff Ogilvy67-67-134
John Riegger66-68-134
Darron Stiles66-68-134
Jeff Sluman65-69-134
Jay Williamson69-65-134
Cameron Yancey66-68-134
K.J. Choi65-70-135
David Frost70-65-135
Vijay Singh67-68-135
Steve Lowery71-64-135
Bob May69-67-136
Mike Sposa73-63-136
Carlos Franco71-65-136
J.L. Lewis68-68-136
David Sutherland68-68-136
Pat Bates68-68-136
Greg Chalmers70-66-136
Jerry Kelly67-69-136
Brent Geiberger68-68-136
Brian Bateman66-70-136
Lee Westwood69-67-136
Steve Flesch67-70-137
Scott McCarron70-67-137
Skip Kendall68-69-137
Patrick Sheehan68-69-137
Ben Curtis68-69-137
Brent Schwarzrock67-70-137
Billy Mayfair66-71-137
Jeff Brehaut70-67-137
Tom Pernice Jr.67-70-137
Rich Beem69-68-137
Chris DiMarco69-68-137
Michael Clark II70-67-137
Stewart Cink65-72-137
Shaun Micheel69-68-137
Brian Watts70-68-138
Woody Austin66-72-138
Jesper Parnevik70-68-138
Charles Howell III68-70-138
Jason Caron70-68-138
Hank Kuehne70-68-138
John Senden71-67-138
Mark Brooks69-69-138
Dan Forsman71-67-138
Cameron Beckman69-69-138
Chris Riley68-70-138
Mike Heinen71-68-139
Heath Slocum70-69-139
Billy Andrade73-66-139
Esteban Toledo69-70-139
Joel Edwards69-70-139
Stuart Appleby71-68-139
Phil Mickelson70-69-139
Kent Jones72-67-139
Todd Fischer66-73-139
Cliff Kresge70-69-139
Briny Baird68-71-139
Kelly Gibson71-68-139
Hal Sutton69-70-139
John Rollins69-70-139
Gene Sauers69-70-139
Chris Smith71-68-139
Craig Perks69-70-139
Hidemichi Tanaka70-69-139
Mathew Goggin70-69-139
Chris Anderson68-71-139
LPGA Tour

Michelob Light Open

At Kingsmill River Course; Williamsburg, Va.

$1.6 million; Yardage: 6,285; Par: 71

Grace Park67-68-135
Lorena Ochoa66-69-135
Akiko Fukushima68-68-136
Suzann Pettersen68-68-136
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc69-68-137
Cristie Kerr69-68-137
Mi-Hyun Kim69-69-138
Jennifer Rosales69-69-138
Se Ri Pak69-69-138
Annika Sorenstam68-70-138
Karen Stupples68-70-138
Lorie Kane72-67-139
Jung Yeon Lee71-68-139
Meg Mallon70-69-139
Natalie Gulbis69-70-139
Hee-Won Han67-72-139
Young Kim74-66-140
Dorothy Delasin72-68-140
Donna Andrews71-69-140
Charlotta Sorenstam70-70-140
Giulia Sergas66-74-140
Wendy Doolan73-68-141
Laura Davies72-69-141
Pamela Kerrigan70-71-141
Danielle Ammaccapane70-71-141
Karrie Webb70-71-141
Moira Dunn75-67-142
Sophie Gustafson74-68-142
Juli Inkster73-69-142
Candie Kung72-70-142
Cindy Figg-Currier71-71-142
Kris Tschetter71-71-142
Beth Daniel70-72-142
Denise Killeen66-76-142
Catriona Matthew74-69-143
Michele Redman74-69-143
Miriam Nagl73-70-143
Sherri Turner73-70-143
Rosie Jones72-71-143
Jean Bartholomew72-71-143
Suzanne Strudwick72-71-143
Amy Fruhwirth71-72-143
Pat Hurst71-72-143
Heather Bowie71-72-143
Becky Morgan70-73-143
Mhairi McKay76-68-144
Yu Ping Lin74-70-144
Heather Daly-Donofrio74-70-144
Angela Stanford74-70-144
Wendy Ward73-71-144
Rachel Teske73-71-144
Young-A Yang73-71-144
Tracy Hanson73-71-144
Hiromi Kobayashi72-72-144
Shani Waugh72-72-144
Terry-Jo Myers72-72-144
Janice Moodie71-73-144
Angela Jerman69-75-144
Anna Acker-Macosko75-70-145
Suzy Green-Roebuck73-72-145
Kim Saiki72-73-145
Jill McGill70-75-145
Ara Koh75-71-146
Loraine Lambert74-72-146
Johanna Head73-73-146
Laurel Kean73-73-146
Tina Barrett72-74-146
Laura Diaz72-74-146
Liselotte Neumann78-69-147
Kate Golden76-71-147
Jane Geddes75-72-147
Tammie Green73-74-147
Leta Lindley73-74-147
Brandie Burton72-75-147
Chris Johnson72-75-147
Jeong Jang71-76-147
Marnie McGuire71-76-147
Marisa Baena71-76-147
Champions Tour

Bruno's Memorial Classic

At Greystone GCC; Hoover, Ala.

$1.4 million; Yardage: 7,092; Par: 72

Hale Irwin34-31-65
Larry Ziegler33-33-66
Bruce Fleisher33-33-66
Tom Jenkins34-33-67
Morris Hatalsky34-33-67
Bob Gilder36-32-68
Tom Wargo34-34-68
Graham Marsh33-35-68
Des Smyth34-34-68
Gary Koch35-34-69
Mike Hill33-36-69
Bob Murphy35-34-69
Jim Colbert34-35-69
Leonard Thompson35-34-69
John Jacobs35-34-69
John Schroeder35-34-69
Dana Quigley37-32-69
Jay Overton34-35-69
Jim Albus35-35-70
Dave Stockton34-36-70
Dave Barr35-35-70
Ed Dougherty35-35-70
James Mason34-36-70
Tom Purtzer36-34-70
Rodger Davis34-36-70
Jay Sigel37-33-70
Ben Crenshaw38-32-70
Billy Kratzert37-33-70
Bruce Summerhays35-35-70
Bob Charles36-35-71
Jerry McGee36-35-71
Mark McCumber36-35-71
David Eger36-35-71
Bobby Wadkins35-36-71
Dave Eichelberger38-33-71
Lee Trevino36-35-71
John Mahaffey36-35-71
Miller Barber33-38-71
Terry Dill35-36-71
Dale Douglass36-35-71
Hugh Baiocchi36-35-71
Jim Holtgrieve34-37-71
Seiji Ebihara36-35-71
Rafael Navarro35-36-71
Jimmy Powell35-37-72
Sammy Rachels36-36-72
Doug Tewell35-37-72
Gil Morgan35-37-72
Allen Doyle35-37-72
Jose Maria Canizares36-36-72
Jim Dent35-37-72
Wayne Levi36-36-72
Frank Shikle34-38-72
Mike Smith39-34-73
Gibby Gilbert37-36-73
Rocky Thompson40-33-73
Larry Nelson36-37-73
Hubert Green38-35-73
Fuzzy Zoeller41-32-73
Tom Kite36-37-73
Andy Bean37-36-73
Walter Morgan36-37-73
Jim Ahern37-36-73
Luis Carbonetti39-35-74
Mark Pfeil37-37-74
Tommy Aaron37-37-74
Joe Inman38-36-74
Walter Hall35-39-74
Charles Coody38-36-74
Stewart Ginn40-35-75
Jim Thorpe40-35-75
Ray Floyd35-40-75
J.C. Snead37-38-75
Howard Twitty40-35-75
Mike McCullough38-38-76
George Archer39-37-76
Orville Moody39-38-77




BENGALS
Dillon's presence brings positive vibes
Arrest made in Weathersby shooting
Palmer's first day: 'I'm thinking we're awesome'

MORE FOOTBALL
Swarm put out Fire
Manning-Vanderjagt: 'Dead issue'
Alabama's Price awaits decision on job status

REDS
Reds 5, Giants 1
Larkin to return some other day
Demotion raises Larson's offense
Reds notebook: Reitsma to miss next start
Buffalo 5, Louisville 3

MORE BASEBALL
NL: Smoltz stumbles, Braves bounce back
AL: Cameron comes up big again in Chicago
Notes from Friday's Games
In minors, promotion is name of the game
World Series home-field plan won't affect Baker
Radke, Bierbrodt draw suspensions

KENTUCKY DERBY
Derby packed with drama
Frankel has inside track on Hollywood ending
Horse boasts history of a different tune
Kentucky Oaks: Tears fall freely for Zito
Empire Maker is the complete package
Racing finds niche in least likely place

FLYING PIG
Familiar faces are missing from Pig

PREP SPORTS
8th-grade phenom packs 'em in at NCH
St. Dominic girls show all the rest how to take it to the hoop
Friday's Results
Today's Games

BASKETBALL
Eustachy violated NCAA's extra-benefits rule
Eustachy saga becoming PR chess match
Coaches split on possible Eustachy firing
Detroit survives to force Game 7
Duncan wins second straight MVP
Stockton says he'll retire

HOCKEY
Upstart Mighty Ducks looking to clinch series
ECHL: Cyclones even series

AUTO RACING
Crash leaves Nadeau in critical condition
NASCAR fans, drivers love Richmond 400

GOLF
Verplank vaults to lead after 63
Nicklaus' family around for weekend

A LOOK AT SPORTS
As the sports world turns...

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio