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Fleisher Extends Lead to Five After 64

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CLEMMONS, N.C. -- Bruce Fleisher shot a 6-under 64 Saturday to increase his lead at the RJR Championship. Fleisher's 36-hole total of 16-under-par 124 puts him five strokes ahead of Hale Irwin heading into the final round.
 
Don Pooley recorded a 64 of his own to finish alone in third at 10-under-par 130. He was followed by 2000 winner Larry Nelson, Morris Hatalsky, Ed Dougherty, Jim Thorpe and Mike McCullough, who share fourth at 8-under-par 132.
 
Fleisher has made the Championship Course at Tanglewood Park Golf Club his own this week. After opening with a 10-under 60 on Friday to match the Senior Tour's all-time 18-hole scoring record, Fleisher picked up where he left off but not before a delay pushed back his tee time.
 
Play was suspended for two hours following the discovery of a bomb threat in a portable toilet between the eighth green and the ninth tee in an area that is only accessible to players, staff and volunteers. The round resumed at 1:00 PM ET, and Fleisher took to the course.
 
The 53-year-old, who torched the front side with six birdies on Friday, waited until the sixth hole during the second round for his first birdie of the day. He quickly added another at the following hole after he hit his approach within two feet of the cup to make the turn at 12-under.
 
Fleisher continued his fine play on the back side with an 18-foot putt for birdie at the 10th. At the following hole he hit a wedge inside two feet to make it two in a row. Fleisher added a birdie at the 16th and knocked a 9-iron within six feet for birdie at the last to give himself a comfortable margin.
 
'I didn't play as well as yesterday,' said Fleisher, who set a new 36-hole tournament record. 'It's always hard to follow up a round like yesterday. The course is certainly vulnerable to low scores.'
 
The 14-time winner on the Senior Tour, who notched three victories last year including the U.S. Senior Open, is seeking his first title of 2002. Despite the winless campaign thus far, Fleisher has been solid with 17 top-10 finishes, including five in his last six starts.
 
Irwin, who also shot a 64, has a respectable deficit to overcome in order to secure his fifth victory of 2002. Irwin had a solid start with four birdies on the front side but struggled to keep pace on the back.
 
'I like to have one more day to try to catch Bruce,' said Irwin. 'I'd have to play well again tomorrow. I'll have to make those putts I missed today.'
 
Full-field scores from the RJR Championship