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Three Share Lead at Las Vegas Event

October 16, 1998

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ David Ogrin is trying to keep his tour card. Bob Tway’s goal is getting in the Tour Championship.

Robert Damron simply wants to have some fun.

Three golfers with differing perspectives _ but some low scores in common _ shared the lead Thursday at 11-under after two rounds of the Las Vegas Invitational.

Tway shot 65, Ogrin 66 and Damron 68 to share a one-shot lead over five other players _ including Paul Azinger and local invitee Bob May _ with three rounds left in the 90-hole event.

``That’s the kind of round I like to play,″ Ogrin said after posting the first 11-under score, only to see Damron and Tway tie him with late afternoon rounds.

Ogrin, fighting to keep his tour card for next year despite having made 20 cuts this year, started and finished with birdies on the TPC Summerlin course that proved friendly once again to the touring pros.

It put him in position to make yet another cut on Friday, then hope he can improve on weekend performances that have left him in 132nd on the money list with $199,637 this year. The top 125 players automatically get tour cards for next year.

``On one level I’ve played great golf, really smooth and consistent this year,″ Ogrin said. ``But my Sunday scoring average is pretty lousy.″

Like Ogrin, Tway is trying to use the $2 million tournament to get somewhere _ but in his case it’s the season-ending Tour Championship.

The top 30 money winners qualify for the final tournament _ and that’s exactly where Tway is, at No. 30 with $850,824 on the season.

``My first goal will be trying to win the golf tournament, but second will be playing well enough to get into that tournament, that’s for sure,″ Tway said.

Tway shot his score at the Las Vegas Country Club, while Damron played at the Desert Inn Country Club. Three courses are used for the first three days of the tournament, then the amateurs are cut and the final two rounds are played at TPC Summerlin.

Damron, 93rd on the money list in his sophomore year on the tour, didn’t touch a club until Wednesday morning after pulling out of last week’s Michelob Championship following the third round.

``I just felt exhausted,″ Damron said. ``I just kind of told myself I’m tired and I really don’t want to be here.″

Damron went home to Kentucky where he relaxed with his girlfriend, then flew here Tuesday night to see if he could get his game back. It seemed to have worked when he followed an opening-round 65 with a 68.

``I just wasn’t having any fun and that’s part of the reason we play this game in the first place. We should have some fun,″ he said.

Chip Beck, who missed the cut in 46 tournaments before finally making one last month, put himself in position for only his second payday of the year with a 68 that left him in a group of four players two shots off the lead at 9-under.

John Daly, meanwhile, followed his most consistent round of the year with a roller coaster round that started with a double bogey, included an eagle, and finished with two consecutive bogeys. Still, he managed a 70 that put him five shots off the lead.

DIVOTS: Davis Love III, who won here once and lost two years ago in a playoff to Tiger Woods, moved into contention with a 66 that put him at 8-under. ... Also at 8-under after a 66 was Justin Leonard. ... Glen Day, who shot 75 in his opening round, withdrew Thursday, citing an allergic reaction to some seafood he ate. ... Bob May, a shot behind, lives a half-mile from the TPC course and is playing on a sponsor’s exemption in his first PGA Tour event of the year. He played the tour in 1994 and has spent the last three years playing on the European tour.

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