Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, October 23, 1999

H A W A I I _ G O L F

Fleisher continues to lead
Kaanapali Classic

Associated Press


KAANAPALI, Hawaii -- Bruce Fleisher put together another solid round Saturday, a 4-under 67, and retained his one-stroke lead in the $1 million Kaanapali Classic on the island of Maui.

Bidding to his win seventh Senior PGA Tour tournament of the year, Fleisher had a 36-hole total of 132. One stroke back after a second-round 66 was Tom Jenkins, a first-time winner this year at the Bell Atlantic Classic.

Hale Irwin, who started the round one stroke behind Fleisher, double-bogeyed No. 1 and finished with a 71. He is five strokes behind Fleisher in their personal duel for the money title as they sit 1-2 on the list with three tournaments to go.

Associated Press
Bruce Fleisher is pumped after chipping in for birdie
on the 17th hole during the first round of the
EMC Kaanapali Classic.

Fleisher, Irwin dueling

By Bill Kwon


KAANAPALI, Maui -- The only thing weird was the every-which-way winds that had the Senior PGA Tour pros scratching their heads.

Otherwise, it was business as usual - making money, that is - for Bruce Fleisher and Hale Irwin. They are continuing their money chase in Hawaii.

One-two on this year's money list, Fleisher and Irwin are one-two as well on the leaderboard after yesterday's first round of the EMC Kaanapali Classic.

Fleisher shot a 6-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Irwin and Jim Ahern going into today's second round at the 6,590-yard Kaanapali North Course.

Irwin shook off a three-putt bogey at 14 with an eagle-3 at 15 and a birdie on the finishing hole for a 66 along Ahern, a Monday qualifier who won for the first time at the AT&T Canada Senior Classic in August by beating Irwin in a playoff.

Tied for fourth at 67 are Bob Murphy, who won here in 1994, and Brian Barnes. Jim Colbert and Steve Veriato, a former Hilo native who made it as a Monday qualifier here for the third time in four years, are next with 68s.

Fleisher pitched in for a birdie-2 at the 17th hole for a 32 on the back nine as the variable tradewinds bedeviled the 78-player field. Only 28 bettered par 71 and only five posted bogey-free rounds, including Fleisher.

If the swirling tradewinds were the major topic of conversation, the focus still remained on the duel between the first-year Fleisher and Irwin, the Senior Tour's money champion the last two years.

"With three weeks left, I'm trying to stay one step ahead of Irwin," said Fleisher, who leads Irwin by $216,183.

With tomorrow's winner getting $150,000, it's still not enough for Irwin to retake the lead this week. So it sets the stage for the tour's final two events, including the Senior Tour Championship in the first week of November.

Not that Fleisher will be easy to catch, especially this weekend. Every time he has led or tied for the lead after the first round, he has gone on to win the tournament.

"I don't want to downplay the significance, but I'm not going to let money rankings dictate my life," said Irwin, who skipped last week's Raley's Gold Rush Classic but plans to play in the the final two events as does Fleisher, of course.

Irwin admits it would be satisfying to make it a three-peat but it's not his main motivation.

"I'd rather win one in a row and one more in a row after that," he said.

Fleisher, on the other hand, says winning the money title will make his already remarkable season a more memorable one.

A six-time winner this year, Fleisher, who only won once in more than 400 PGA Tour events, is also well aware that he is only one shy of tying the Senior Tour rookie record of seven victories held by Lee Trevino and Bruce Crampton.

"This year is one that I'm going to relive for a long time," Fleisher said. "It's well beyond my expectations."

The closest Fleisher came to spoiling his bogey-free round came at the oceanside par-4 14th, when he left his first putt from 40 feet six feet short of the hole. But he made the putt to save par.

"That was a big turning point. I was 4-under at the time, and might have gone to 3. "

The gusting winds, though, had the players muttering, even Irwin, familiar with how it blows in the islands since he represents the Kapalua Resort just up the road from here.

"I'm a local tourist and I know how the wind is here, but this was as weird a day as far as varying wind conditions as I've ever seen," Irwin said.

"The wind kept switching all day and it made club selection difficult," added Ahern.

Murphy was also 5-under after a birdie on the 17th. But he bogeyed the par-4 finishing hole, blaming his unfortunate timing that he had to tee off into the teeth of the wind, which was blowing in the opposite direction just moments before at the par-3 17th, and finished at 67 with Barnes.

Still, he liked his chances after his opening 67, his lowest first round this year. "It's a good way to start," he said. "Now if we can keep Fleisher from birdieing every hole . . . "

Barnes, whose best finish this year was a tie for sixth in the Mastercard Championship on the Big Island's Hualalai Resort, was 4 under after 10 holes. But he could only par in the rest of the way.

Defending champion Jay Sigel posted a 1-over 72, while three-time Kaanapali winner Bob Charles was among eight players at even-par 71.

Kaanapali Seniors

At Kaanapali
First round
Par 71

Bruce Fleisher -- 34-31--65
Hale Irwin -- 33-33--66
Jim Ahern -- 32-34--66
Brian Barnes -- 32-35--67
Bob Murphy -- 34-33--67
DeWitt Weaver -- 33-34--67
Fred Gibson -- 32-35--67
Dave Eichelberger -- 32-35--67
Tom Jenkins -- 34-33--67
Jim Colbert -- 35-33--68
Steve Veriato -- 34-34--68
Barney Thompson -- 35-33--68
Bob Duval -- 35-34--69
Babe Hiskey -- 33-36--69
Gary Player -- 34-35--69
Tony Peterson -- 35-34--69
Dave Stockton -- 34-35--69
Christy O'Connor -- 35-35--70
Jose Maria Canizares -- 35-35--70
Allen Doyle -- 37-33--70
Mark Hayes -- 35-35--70
Ed Dougherty -- 35-35--70
Jerry McGee -- 36-34--70
Bruce Summerhays -- 36-34--70
Frank Conner -- 34-36--70
Bob Dickson -- 34-36--70
Jim Barker -- 36-34--70
Bobby Stroble -- 34-36--70
Ray Floyd -- 35-36--71
John Mahaffey -- 36-35--71
Bob Charles -- 36-35--71
Dick Lotz -- 36-35--71
Howard Twitty -- 34-37--71
Ed Sneed -- 36-35--71
Jesse Patino -- 35-36--71
George Archer -- 35-36--71
Dana Quigley -- 35-37--72
Noel Ratcliffe -- 36-36--72
Jim Albus -- 34-38--72
Jay Sigel -- 34-38--72
Tom Shaw -- 37-35--72
Leonard Thompson -- 37-35--72
Doug Tewell -- 37-35--72
Rocky Thompson -- 36-36--72
Mike McCullough -- 36-36--72
Bob Eastwood -- 37-35--72
John Jacobs -- 37-36--73
Mike Malone -- 36-37--73
David Lundstrom -- 37-36--73
Terry Dill -- 38-35--73
Rik Massengale -- 36-37--73
George Burns -- 35-38--73
Walt Morgan -- 35-38--73
Hubert Green -- 38-36--74
Bob Wynn -- 36-38--74
Bud Allin -- 38-36--74
Hiro Kazami -- 35-39--74
Tom McGinnis -- 37-38--75
Orville Moody -- 37-38--75
Chi Chi Rodriguez -- 37-38--75
Harold Henning -- 38-37--75
Kermit Zarley -- 37-38--75
Fran Cipro -- 38-38--76
James Lane -- 39-37--76
Lon Hinkle -- 41-35--76
Jim Thorpe -- 39-37--76
Dale Douglass -- 35-41--76
Hugh Baiocchi -- 35-41--76
Walter Hall -- 37-39--76
Larry Ziegler -- 39-37--76
Lee Elder -- 38-39--77
Bob Lunn -- 39-38--77
Alberto Giannone -- 39-39--78
Tommy Jacobs -- 37-41--78
Homero Blancas -- 39-39--78
Don Bies -- 41-37--78
Peter Oosterhuis -- 41-39--80
Lou Graham -- 40-45--85

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