Major Logjam at The Tradition

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After shooting 5-under-par 67 on a docile Thursday, Tom Kite wondered aloud how the Prospector Course at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club would play if the wind picked up.
 
He got his answer Friday.
 
With gusts bending pin flags at a near 45-degree angle, a jumbled leaderboard was formed entering weekend play at The Countrywide Tradition.
 
Sixteen players are tied or within four shots of the lead through 36 holes of the Senior PGA Tours first major of the season. Three players share top billing. Bob Eastwood (66), Bob Gilder (68) and Jim Thorpe (70) are tied at 7-under-par 137.
 
Fuzzy Zoeller (70) is one back. Kite, the 2000 Tradition champion, is two back after an even-par 72.
 
Only 18 players in the 78-man field managed to break par in the second round. Eastwood and Tom Jenkins fired the low rounds of the day. Jenkins 66 moved him into a seven-way tie for sixth place at 4-under.
 
'The golf course got its licks in today,' said Kite. 'Guessing on club selection was very problematic at best. It was a very difficult day except for a couple of guys who were able to pull rabbits out of the hat.'
 
Eastwood said the wind wasn't as much a issue for him since he likes to hit low-liners into the green and let the ball roll. He proved his point by birdieing five of the last six holes Friday.
 
'It's a great feeling,' said Eastwood, who hasn't won since 1997. 'You hate to have the round quit because you're kind of on a roll.'
 
Gilder is trying to atone for last year's performance in this event, particularly when he broke the middle finger on his right hand slamming a club into his bag after a poor shot.
 
'I was a little embarrassed. That's not something I'm real proud of,' said the 2001 Rookie of the Year. 'So we're trying to make up for it this year.'
 
Thorpe started the day one off the lead, and felt his 70 was as impressive as his opening 67.
 
'I think today's round went as good as yesterday,' he said. 'With the wind condition, the golf course played very hard. Even when we did put the ball on the fairway, we had a hard time getting it close to the pin.'
 
First-round leader Allen Doyle made his way to 8-under Friday, but finished with a 74 to fall three shots off the pace at 4-under.
 
Jack Nicklaus, playing his first official tournament since last July, shot a 71 and was even at 144. He missed this year's Masters because of an ailing back, but used an electronic stimulus device over the weekend to allow him to play this week.
 
'As of last Saturday night, I couldn't swing a golf club,' said the four-time Tradition winner. 'I thought if I broke 75 in one round I would be doing very well. I've broken 75 twice so far. As a matter of fact, I've even broken par. I guess I've hit 13 or 14 greens both rounds. That's pretty good. I'm very pleased, just tickled to death to be playing golf again.'
 
Full-field scores from The Countrywide Tradition