Steve Lowery Has Kemper Golf Lead
Jun. 03, 2000
POTOMAC, Md. (AP) _ Steve Lowery survived an eventful back nine Saturday, saving par twice in three holes from ugly spots in the rough, to cling to a one-stroke lead in the Kemper Insurance Open.
Lowery, seeking his first PGA Tour victory in six years, was just the tip of a hodgepodge of a leaderboard that shifted with nearly every hole over the last two hours of the day. Franklin Langham and Paul Stankowski were a stroke back, with Tom Scherrer and Justin Leonard two off the lead.
``Anything's possible,'' Stankowski said. ``Someone could shoot 63 in a heartbeat here tomorrow and come from behind.''
The weather was cooler and comfortable after Friday's unbearably humid day. Low scores were routine _ except from the four golfers who led the field after the second round. Lowery shot a 1-under 70 for an 11-under 202 total. Leonard, his playing partner in the last grouping, managed a par 71 in front of a poor-behaving gallery.
Spectators routinely walked off before Lowery putted, and he was distracted by noisy sunbathers at the 7th. Leonard had to back off a putt at the 18th and pointed at someone in the gallery. He then approached the gallery and spoke to the distracting spectator before walking off the green.
``There's going to be some people making noise and some people who maybe forget there's a tournament going on,'' Leonard said.
In the next-to-last group, Chris DiMarco fell back with a 76 to a 209 total, and Donnie Hammond shot a 74 for a 207 total. They had a different kind of disruption _ a deer ran across the green while they were at the 11th.
Lowery, whose only tour victory came in the 1994 Sprint International, made eight pars and one birdie on the front nine. At the 10th, where the pin was placed precariously close to the creek, Lowery aimed for the hole and landed on the steep far bank. He somehow chipped to 6 feet and saved par.
Two holes later, Lowery pulled his tee shot into the rough at the course's toughest hole. He laid up to the left of the green, chipped close to the pin and saved par.
Lowery again found the rough at the 13th and bogeyed the par 5, but got the stroke back at the 15th with a 15-foot birdie putt.
With no big rounds from the leaders, there was room for others to charge into contention. Stankowski shot a 68 for a 203 total, despite an overly aggressive decision to go for the green when he was behind a tree at the 15th. He double-bogeyed the hole.
Stankowski made up for it with the most spectacular shot of the day at the par-3 17th, landing his 7-iron tee shot within a few inches of the pin.
Langham shot a 66, including a 25-birdie putt at the 16th. Scherrer shot a 69. Both are seeking their first PGA Tour victories at a tournament known for its first-time winners.
There were other great rounds. Casey Martin, who tied a tournament record with five consecutive birdies Friday before a rough back nine, double-bogeyed the 4th, then went 6 under the rest of the way. He shot a 67 to move with in four shots of the lead.
Stuart Appleby, who won here two years ago, shot a 64 after barely making the cut. He is 6 under, five shots off the lead.
On the Net: