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Floyd, Epps Share First-Round Lead in Dominion Seniors

March 30, 1996

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Charlie Epps, a teaching pro from Houston, will have the opportunity to play with two golf greats in the second round of the $650,000 SBC Dominion Seniors tournament.

Epps shared the lead after one round with Raymond Floyd at 6-under-par 66. Joining the leaders today will be Gary Player, who is one stroke back.

``I’ve had occasion to play with Raymond in practice rounds,″ said Epps. ``I’m looking forward to playing with Raymond and Gary. It’s exciting here.″

Epps has played in one other Senior Tour event, the Nationwide Championship last June 25 in Atlanta where he finished tied for 40th place. He qualified for the 54-hole Dominion Seniors on March 25, leading the four qualifiers with a 73.

In Friday’s opening round, he had seven birdies and one bogey at the Dominion Country Club.

The versatile head pro at Houston’s Bentwater Country Club, Epps also provides golfing tips on a Houston radio show and works with PGA Tour pro Blaine McCallister.

``I work with Blaine on his game and he works with me,″ Epps added. ``I went to New Orleans last week and he helped me with a couple of things.

``I changed how I’m holding the club. My daughter (Nona) gave me a pep talk last night. She plays at TCU. My other daughter (Mimi) will be a freshman at Texas A&M. We are a golfing family.″

Floyd has won two unofficial Senior Tour events this year, the Senior Skins Game and the Senior Slam. On Friday, he chalked up four birdies and one eagle, in which he dropped a 30-foot putt on the par-5 18th hole.

``My credit goes to the field staff for some good pin settings,″ said Floyd, ranked No. 5 on this year’s money list and No. 2 in career earnings. ``The positioning brings out your skill level. Where they put the pins, you’ve got to perform.″

Player, a native South African who plays out of Pinehurst, N.C., and is ranked No. 14 on the money list, hit seven birdies along the way.

There is a three-way tie among Bruce Summerhays, Bob Eastwood and 1987 champion Chi Chi Rodriguez. All carded 68s.

Seven golfers _ including 1990 winner Jim Dent _ are tied for seventh place at 69.

Defending champion Jim Albus, going for his third consecutive Dominion title and the $97,500 first-place check, completed the opening round Friday at 3-over 75. Lee Trevino, the 1991 winner, had an opening 70.

Player leads the Mastercard Grandmasters competition for golfers 60 and older.

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