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Alcott, Anschutz share first-round lead at Michelob Light Classic

May 30, 1997

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ One more win secures Amy Alcott’s place in the LPGA Hall of Fame.

``But I don’t say, `Let’s go out and win this tournament and get in the Hall of Fame,‴ Alcott said Thursday after grabbing a share of the first-round lead in the Michelob Light Classic. ``One more tournament is not going to prove anything to me that I don’t already know.″

Not that there’s much left to prove. She’s won five majors and 29 tour events.

Thirty guarantees a spot in the Hall of Fame, and Alcott has been stuck at 29 since 1991.

``People think I deserve to be in it; I think I deserve to be in it,″ Alcott said. ``But I tell people, and I have to be honest, because I didn’t even know there was a Hall of Fame until I had 27 victories. It’s a number and I don’t really think about it very much.″

The LPGA Hall of Fame is an exclusive club. Only 14 players are in the Hall, plus one honorary member, Dinah Shore.

Alcott, 41, certainly looked like a Hall of Fame golfer Thursday at Forest Hills Country Club. She missed only two fairways and sank putts of 40, 10, 35 and 8 feet.

Joining Alcott at the top was Jody Anschutz, who hasn’t won since 1987.

Hiromi Kobayashi, Penny Hammel and Laurel Kean are a stroke back with 69s. And lurking just two shots back are five players, including the top two money-winners this year, Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb. Also at 70 are Dottie Pepper, Nancy Harvey and Karen Weiss.

Despite her past success, Alcott has struggled in recent years. She’s missed the cut in four of seven events this year, and Thursday’s round was her first below 70 in 1997.

``It’s really been frustrating, the way I’ve struggled,″ said Alcott, whose best finish so far in 1997 was a tie for 57th at the Nabisco Dinah Shore. ``But I’d love to have the chance to win or choke on Sunday.″

Anschutz also posted her first sub-70 round of the year. She has missed seven of 10 cuts, including her last four.

``I’ve struggled the last few weeks,″ Anschutz said. ``But it’s good to struggle a little every now and then. It keeps you honest.″

Anschutz made the turn at even-par, then had five birdies and a bogey to come in with 32 on the back nine.

Sorenstam, who won this event by 10 shots two years ago, missed six of 14 fairways, but managed to score well. She made four birdie putts from 12 feet or longer.

``This is the worst I’ve played all year, but I scrambled incredibly well,″ said Sorenstam, who has already won three tournaments in 1997.

Seventeen players finished under par and 14 others shot even-par 72. Defending champion Vicki Fergon shot 79.