PGA.com news services
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.-- All week long, the players in the 64th Senior PGA Championship looked toward Friday as potentially the best day for scoring. The skies had cleared and the course was drying out from the pouring rain of earlier in the week, they said, and with potentially more showers in the weekend forecast, Friday would be the day to make their move.
But so far, that isn't proving to be the case. As the players make their way around awesome Aronimink for the second time, red numbers remain rare and only a few players are fighting their way under par.
Wayne Levi moved to 2-under with three birdies and a bogey in his first nine holes Friday after only carding one birdie on Thursday. Craig Stadler also was 2-under through nine holes Friday, with birdies on Nos. 3 and 8 after an even-par 72 Thursday.
Bruce Fleisher was another player posting a 2-under front nine Friday, but his real test will come on the back nine, where he had two birdies and tow bogeys Thursday.
One of the morning's most exciting rounds belongs to Seiji Ebihara of Japan, who had five birdies, five pars and two bogeys through his first 12 holes. That moved him up to 1-under for the tournament and onto the front page of the leaderboard.
Defending champ Fuzzy Zoeller and Jose Maria Canizares were even par through halfway through their days, and both still very much in contention. Vicente Fernandez and Doug Tewell, who both opened with 1-under 69s, were both 2-over early on the back nine, while Bobby Wadkins, who posted a 68 Thursday, had lost three shots to par through 13 holes on Friday.
Among the players struggling Friday morning were Ben Crenshaw and Arnold Palmer. Crenshaw opened with a disappointing 77 Thursday, and his Friday scorecard contained two double bogeys and three bogeys through 11 holes as he dropped to 13-over at that point. Crenshaw was three over on both the par-4 fourth and the par-4 10th holes.
Palmer, who opened with a 9-over 79 that included nine bogeys, had two double bogeys in his first seven holes Friday, and was seven over through 10 holes on Friday.
Among the most prominent afternoon starters are NBC-TV golf analyst Gary Koch at 12:55 p.m., with Dave Stockton, Bill Rogers and Andy North off the tee at 1 p.m. At 1:15 p.m., Gil Morgan, John Jacobs and Gary McCord are up.
Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins and Hale Irwin go at 1:20 p.m., with D.A. Weibring and Jay Sigel at 1:35. Dana Quigley and Jim Thorpe tee off at 1:40 p.m., with Gary Player, Tom Kite and Ray Floyd at 1:50 p.m. David Graham, Hubert Green and John Mahaffey go at 1:55 p.m., and Allen Doyle and Bruce Lietzke hit the links at 2:10.