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Charles Leads Senior Match Play

November 14, 1998

PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) _ At age 62, Bob Charles isn’t able to hit his drives out there with some of the younger seniors, but he makes up for it around the green.

Charles made six birdies Friday to upset third-seeded Larry Nelson in the first round of the inaugural Senior Match Play Challenge.

Charles, the No. 14 seed, closed it out when he matched Nelson’s par at the 17th hole for a 2 and 1 victory.

Charles became the oldest player left in the field after 63-year-old Gary Player was defeated by top seed Hale Irwin, 3 and 2.

``It’s encouraging at the age of 62 to be competitive, to be able to play well, and I feel very fortunate to be invited to this tournament,″ Charles said. ``I think that match play fits my style of play.

``I don’t have the power of the other players so I rely on some iron shots in the green and good putting.″

The top 12 money leaders from the seniors’ season, plus four players in via invitation, made up the starting field.

Second-seeded Gil Morgan downed Bob Murphy 2 and 1.

Jay Sigel began his match against George Archer with two birdies to go ahead quickly and went on to a 6 and 4 win when Archer conceded the 14th hole. Sigel finished with six birdies.

Bruce Summerhays and Dave Stockton were tied after 16 holes, but Summerhays went 1-up after he birdied the 17th and held on for the victory when they both had par 4s on the 18th at Big Horn Golf Club.

Dana Quigley defeated Jose Maria Canizares in another close match, 1-up; Jim Colbert defeated Vicente Fernandez 2 and 1; and David Graham defeated Hugh Baiocchi, 5 and 3.

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