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Henke Leads GMO; Woods Makes Cut

August 30, 1996

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Nolan Henke’s 5-under-par 66 on Friday put him two shots ahead of the field after two rounds of the Greater Milwaukee Open. Tiger Woods’ 69 put him three strokes above the cut line in his professional debut.

Henke’s 36-hole total of 14-under 128 at Brown Deer Park Golf Course had him eight strokes ahead of Woods, who said he was glad to survive the cut, but it was ``weird″ being so far off the lead.

Woods trailed 29 players, including Duffy Waldorf, who was second at 130 after a second 65, and Bob Estes, Loren Roberts, Jesper Parnevik and Mike Heinen, all grouped at 11-under 131. Estes, who was two strokes behind Henke after the first round, had a 67, Roberts a 65, Parnevik a 66 and Heinen a 63.

``I should be a lot closer,″ Woods said. ``When you play a four-round tournament you’re going to have that one off-day and hopefully this is my off-day.″

The 20-year-old three-time U.S. Amateur and reigning NCAA champion had four birdies and two bogeys in a round watched eagerly by a large gallery that wasn’t shy about shouting praise and encouragement.

Woods said the crowd, just as big as that for his Thursday debut, wasn’t to blame for some poor iron shots and missed putts.

``I just have to be more sharp,″ Woods said. ``I wasn’t precise enough to shoot the low scores.″

Woods said he was having problems with the positioning of his left arm on shorter shots.

He said his goal was to shoot in the mid-60s in the final two rounds.

Looking at the long-term, the Nike endorsement deal he signed this week, reportedly worth $40 million, ``relieves a lot of the pressure,″ Woods said.

``I don’t have to depend on play for my income,″ Woods said. ``I’m pretty much financially set for life.″

Woods said he probably wouldn’t fully comprehend the worth of the contract until the money is in his bank account.

``I’ve seen those amounts before, in economics books we use those things in examples, but I’ve never seen that as describing Tiger Woods,″ he said.

The hordes of fans trailing Woods were a plus for Henke, 31, who had a sparse following as he recorded an eagle on a 35-foot putt along with four birdies and a bogey.

``It makes it easier for me, playing-wise. Everybody’s out there following Tiger,″ Henke said. ``I like to hide a little.″

A victory would be Henke’s first since the 1993 BellSouth Classic. Henke, 85th on the PGA money list with $187,526, had his best finish this year in a tie for fourth in the Chrysler Classic.

``I’m definitely surprised,″ Henke said of his first two rounds. ``I just came up here hoping to make the cut.″

Carl Paulson was at 132, one stroke ahead of Steve Stricker, Russ Cochran, Billy Andrade, Mike Sullivan and Jerry Kelly.

Last year’s GMO champion, Scott Hoch, was at 135.

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