Zoeller enjoying return

KA'UPULEHU, Hawaii » Defending champion Fuzzy Zoeller will need a miracle to win the $1.6 million MasterCard Championship, but he's just happy to be here after undergoing heart surgery a little more than three weeks ago.

Zoeller shot a second consecutive 4-under 68 to find himself at 136 for the tournament, but trails second-round leader Tom Watson by eight shots.

"Isn't it just beautiful watching Tom play?" Zoeller asked. "He looks like the man who dominated the game for so many years. For me, I was like a pitcher who didn't have his best stuff. I was just trying to hang in there and not get passed by too many of these guys."

Zoeller underwent an angioplasty on Dec. 30 and was told to stop smoking and drinking to help the healing process. He will be on Oahu this week for the Turtle Bay Championship and said he's looking forward to playing the North Shore course.

"I have a feeling it will be a little more windy than what we had today," Zoeller said. "I have good memories over there. It should be a lot of fun."

Down in the back: Lee Trevino has a back problem that keeps the Merry Mex from being as competitive as he may like, but yesterday was one of those rounds that reminded him of the old days.

He fired a solid 69 in the second round to move to 3-under 141 for the tournament. And while he isn't a threat to win this 54-hole event, just being able to shoot under par brings a smile to his face.

"I'm having a ball," Trevino said. "I'm glad I can still play. I've been on the couch since July. God bless my back doctor in Dallas. I should adopt him or he should adopt me. He's been keeping me playing since 1982."

Trevino will also be on Oahu for Turtle Bay. It has been a number of years since Trevino competed here, giving fans a rare opportunity to see the 65-year-old, who won the U.S. Open and the Hawaiian Open his second year on the PGA Tour in 1968. He wound up winning six majors, the last in 1984 at the PGA Championship.

The key for Trevino yesterday was his iron play.

"I hit some very good shots on the par-3s today, which is unusual for me," Trevino said. "My back keeps me from being aggressive. I putted fairly well. Any time you leave a putt short, it's in the middle of the hole. Have you ever noticed that?"

Trevino plans to play a few more years, but will not be a golf commentator any time soon.

"I wouldn't mind doing the TV tower 3 minutes before I'm on the air, great. But this coming in on Monday before the tournament starts on Friday, no thanks," Trevino said.

Flying a Kite: Tom Kite came back from a relatively so-so round on Friday with a good 5-under 65 to move him to 7-under 137 for the tournament. While most of the players go to Oahu next week, Kite has already been there and done that, and is on his way to the mainland to rejoin the PGA Tour for the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

He made the cut at the Sony Open last week, but finished with a 5-over 75 in the final round to drop down the leaderboard. His goal this week at the Hope is to do even better and see if he can pocket some cash.

"I made the cut at the Sony, but I want to be able to do more than just that," Kite said. "I think the fact that four guys on the Champions Tour wound up making the cut shows the quality of golf we have out here. It gives this tour more credibility."

Inside the numbers: There weren't very many difficult holes yesterday thanks to a windless second round, but the par-3 No. 8 was the hardest with a scoring average of 3.243. There were only two birdies, by Mark James and Tom Jenkins, 25 pars, nine bogeys and one double bogey by Allen Doyle.

There was a rare three-way tie for the easiest hole among the par-5 fourth, the par-5 10th and the par-5 14th. They yielded a combined nine eagles and 64 birdies. There were only 37 pars and one bogey on those three holes. In fact, the only bogey on a par 5 was made by Larry Nelson at the fourth.

Nelson had the most interesting card of the day. He had only four pars en route to a 3-under 69. Nelson carded one eagle, seven birdies and six bogeys. Bogeys were rare. No one bogeyed the par-5 14th as the scoring average dipped to 68.351.

If you're looking for someone to track down Watson, Dana Quigley may be your man. He has 10 consecutive rounds in the 60s at this event. Quigley has never shot over par here in 23 rounds of golf.

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