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Overton Leads Royal Caribbean Golf

February 2, 2002

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) _ Jay Overton, given a reprieve by the rainout a day earlier, shot a 7-under-par 65 Saturday for the first-round lead in the Royal Caribbean Classic.

Overton was 3 over on the 18th hole Friday when rain shortened the tournament to 36 holes. His score didn’t count and he capitalized with seven birdies the next day in the first full-field event on the PGA Senior Tour.

Entering Sunday’s final round, 19 players are within three shots of the lead.

Overton, who qualified for the tournament Monday, held a one-shot lead over playing partner Dick Mast, Dana Quigley, two-time champion Bruce Fleischer, Bob Gilder and John Bland.

Tom Kite, who won the MasterCard Championship in Hawaii two weeks ago, led a group at 67 that included John Jacobs, Tom Purtzer, George Archer, Walter Hall and Sammy Rachels.

Tom Watson and defending champion Larry Nelson were among eight players at 68.

Overton, a club pro at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, played in seven tournaments last year as a rookie and finished 72nd on the money list. Because he finished out of the Top 50, Overton will need sponsor exemptions to avoid Monday qualifiers before tournaments.

The $1.45 million Royal Caribbean Classic winners earns $217,500.

Overton, playing in the first group of the day, had three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine to make the turn in 31. He capped his round with a birdie on the par-5 No. 18.

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