Kite-Type Round Gives Hall Open Lead


Walter Hall shot his career low round in the U.S. Senior Open Friday and then told the media, This was my Tom Kite imitation today.
Appropriately, Hall will have to deal with his golfing model over the weekend if he wants to win his first major championship.
Hall, who has one career Senior Tour victory, fired a 6-under 65 at the Caves Valley Golf Club to take sole possession of the lead entering weekend play outside of Baltimore, Md.
The 55-year-old North Carolinian stands at 7-under-par 135, one shot clear of Kite (67) and Jose Maria Canizares (68).
Overnight leader R.W. Eaks battled back from a poor start to regain a share of the lead midway through the back nine, but double bogeyed the par-4 16th to shoot 2-over 73. The tour rookie is alone in fourth place, at 5-under.
'I'm only two back, and this is a U.S. Open,' said Eaks. 'The guys that played good today, you never know what they're going to do tomorrow. Two shots is nothing.'
Tom Watson (71), Maryland native Fred Gibson (69) and Isao Aoki (69) are a shot further removed. Aoki finished runner-up to Bruce Fleisher a year ago at this event. The 59-year-old made a run up the leaderboard Friday with a 4-under 32 on the front nine, but shot 2-over 37 on the back.
Likewise, Watson was within one of the lead before an hour-long rain delay thwarted his momentum. Watson carded three bogeys and one birdie after the suspension.
Hall, who attended the University of Maryland, started on the back nine, and birdied Nos. 13-15; the last of which came courtesy of a 30-footer. He then recorded three more birdies on the front side for a six-birdie, no-bogey round.
I probably wont ever do this again, he said with a smile. But I sure had my day in the sun today.
Thanks to a lack of sun Thursday, 33 players were forced to complete their opening rounds Friday morning, meaning Kites day started with a devilish shot on the par-4 17th.
I had this 40-yard bunker shot off an upslope to a pin that you have to carry it all the way there. So, I tossed and turned a little bit thinking about that one particular shot all night last night, said the 1992 U.S. Open champion.
He went on to blast out and two-putt for bogey ' a satisfying score he said.
Kite parred the last to complete an opening round of 69, and then made five birdies to just one bogey in round two.
It played easier today, Kite said of the course. That little bit of rain that we had last night really softened up the course quite a bit. I actually had one thing that Ive never seen in a USGA event; I had a ball embed on the green today. The greens kind of got a little bit soft.
The benign conditions didn't help Fleisher. The defending champion shot rounds of 76-75 to miss, by two strokes, the cut, which fell at 7-over.
Ben Crenshaw (+8), Gary Player (+12) and Arnold Palmer (+25) also missed the cut.
Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Open