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Sipula Retains Lead at PGA Tourney

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Tom Sipula of River Vale, N.J., retained his lead at the halfway point Tuesday in the 50th annual PGA Stroke Play Championship after firing a second round 69 on the North course at the PGA Golf Club.
 
At 8-under-par 136, Sipula takes a three-stroke lead into the third round Wednesday. An assistant professional at Edgewood Country Club, Sipula, 32, made four birdies and a bogey.
 
'I wasn't hitting the ball too well the first seven holes,' Sipula said, 'but I kept the ball in play and my putter saved me a few times.'
 
He sank 15-foot birdie putts at the 12th and 18th holes, his third and ninth, and made two-putt birdies on the two par-5 holes on the front, 4 and 6. He missed the green at the par-3 seventh enroute to his only bogey.
 
After one round each on the North and South courses, the 36-hole cut to 130 and ties fell at 10-over-par 154 with three of the six women in the 280-player starting field advancing to the last two rounds on the North.
 
Holly Anderson of Chevy Chase, Md., and C.J. Reeves of Purchase, N.Y., were low with 153 on second round scores of 74 and 75 on the South and North, respectively. The women are playing the two courses at about 85 percent of the men's distances, or about a thousand yards shorter.
 
Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Conn., came back with par-72 on the North to just make it through at 154.
 
'I hit the ball well again today but I just hit it closer than I did yesterday,' when she opened with 82 on the South, she said. 'I made more four footers today, but I missed a few, too.'
 
Whaley, 36, the head professional at Blue Fox Golf Club in Avon, Conn., hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation but had 36 putts. She made three birdies and as many bogeys, sinking putts of 15 and 4 feet at the fifth and 17th holes and reaching the par-5 13th in two. Her bogeys were the result of a three-putt at the 11th hole and missing greens at 12 and 16.
 
Whaley has been in the media spotlight since winning the Connecticut PGA Section Championship last September. This was worth an exemption into the Greater Hartford Open July 24-27, the first woman to qualify for a PGA Tour event.
 
In the men's division, Ed Sabo of Jupiter was second with 71-139 on three birdies and two bogies, followed by Ron Faria of Hempstead, N.Y., at 69-140. Steve Schneiter of Sandy, Utah, had the day's low round, a 67 with six birdies, and is tied for fourth at 141.
 
The winner Thursday will earn $5,185 from the $89,000 purse.
 

 
PGA Stroke Play Championship
PGA GC, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
North course, 6,887 yards (men), 5,799 yards (women); par 72
South course, 6,895 yards (men), 5,796 yards (women); par 72
 
136 - Tom Sipula, River Vale, N.J., 67-69.
 
139 - Ed Sabo, Tequesta, 68-71.
 
140 - Ron Faria, Hempstead, N.Y., 71-69.
 
141 - Frank Bensel, Purchase, N.Y., 71-70. Steve Schneiter, Sandy, Utah, 74-67.
 
142 - Rob Labritz, Fairfield, Conn., 74-68.
 
143 - Paul Parajeckas, Woburn, Mass., 74-69.
 
144 - Bill Anderson, Wilmington, N.C., 71-73. Tony DeMaria, Port Chester, N.Y., 71-73. Paul Hollenbaugh, Westerville, Ohio, 74-70. Jerry Impellittiere, New Windsor, N.Y., 72-72. Steve Mulcahy, Lima, Ohio, 73-71. Lonnie Nielsen, East Aurora, N.Y., 69-75. Pete Oakley, Lewes, Del., 71-73. Todd Peterson, Atlanta, Ga., 73-71. Brendon Post, Herndon, Va., 76-68. Bob Ralston, Little Rock, Ark., 74-70. Rick Vershure, Armonk, N.Y., 72-72.
 
145 - Kirk Hanefeld, Westford, Mass., 74-71. John Hickson, West Brook, Maine, 74-71. Mike San Filippo, Hobe Sound, 76-69. Kevin Syring, Park Ridge, N.J., 73-72. Jerry Tucker, Stuart, 72-73. Mike Zinni, Mankato, Minn., 75-70.