Saturday, August 16, 2003

Fleisher leads at Long Island with tournament-record 62

The Associated Press

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. - Bruce Fleisher made four straight birdies on the front nine and eight overall as he shot a bogey-free, tournament-record 62 Friday for the first-round lead in the PGA Champions Tour's Long Island Classic.

Fleisher, who won the event in 1999 and 2000, holds a two-shot lead over Bob Gilder, who also was bogey-free with a 64.

Vicente Fernandez followed with a 65, while Rodger Davis, Seiji Ebihara, John Bland, Des Smyth and Gary Koch each shot 66.

The tournament had been held at the nearby Meadow Brook Club in Jericho, N.Y., for the past 15 years before switching to the par-70, 6,797-yard Eisenhower Park Red Course, a public facility.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Fleisher, eighth in earnings with $924,777 in 20 events. "This is the first time I played here, but today was my day. I was flying right out of the box with that par-4 on the opening hole. Then I made four straight birdies and I said to myself, 'How did I do that?' "

Fleisher, in his fifth year on the Champions Tour, has 16 victories. On the regular PGA Tour, he had only one win in 408 events from 1969-98.

"This is a tough course, but it's in great shape," said Fleisher, who was paired with Lee Trevino and Craig Stadler. "Just look at the good scores. The fairways and greens are soft enough to hold your shots.

"Playing with Trevino is a pleasure because of what he means to golf. Lee doesn't play a great deal any more, so his game is rusty and he likes to entertain the gallery. I don't let myself get caught up in his antics."

Defending champion Hubert Green withdrew because he's undergoing treatment for tongue and throat cancer.

Green was still hopeful of playing in the Kroger Classic Sept. 5-7 at the TPC at River's Bend.

2005 SENIOR PGA: The major on the Champions Tour will be held at Laurel Valley Golf Club in 2005.

The club, near Pittsburgh, also played host to the PGA's Pennsylvania Classic in 2001. The event will be in Pennsylvania for the second time in three years, with this year's Senior PGA championship in suburban Philadelphia.

Arnold Palmer is a member of Laurel Valley's board of directors.

JAMIE FARR KROGER: Laura Diaz is still waiting to put all of her game together. Watch out if she does.

Diaz was 10 under after the second round at Sylvania, leading Hee-Won Han by three strokes.

Michelle Wie, 13, missed her first cut in five LPGA Tour events this year. She started showing the wear of her long summer away from Honolulu.

"By this time, I just want to go home," Wie said after a round of 1 over par. She still has to play in a Canadian Tour event next week in Brimley, Mich.

Diaz was pleased with her long game after a round of 4 under Friday but not too happy with her putting. It was just the opposite a day earlier when she shot a 6 under. "Hopefully, the next two days I can get them both working," she said.

Diaz felt fortunate on a couple of holes. She managed to birdie No. 5 even after Michelle McGann's ball hit hers on the fairway, and she chipped in on No. 3 to save par.

"It was a really nice surprise," she said about the third hole.

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This weekend

Surprise leader Micheel 2 ahead of Weir, Andrade
Fleisher leads at Long Island with tournament-record 62

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