Fleisher Sets Record in Long Island

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JERICHO, N.Y. -- Bruce Fleisher established a new course record Friday when he fired an 8-under-par 62 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the Long Island Classic at Eisenhower Park's Red Course.
 
Fleisher and Jim Thorpe held the previous tournament record with 63s in 2000 when the event was held at Meadow Brook Club.
 
'I didn't know what to expect,' said Fleisher, who won this year's Verizon Classic. 'This is the first time I played here, but today was my day. I was flying right out of the box with that par four on the opening hole. Then I made four straight birdies and I said to myself, `How did I do that?''
 
Bob Gilder is alone in second place after a 64 on Friday, followed by Vicente Fernandez who opened with a round of 5-under-par 65.
 
Fleisher had a great look at birdie at No. 1 but missed an eight-footer. That would be his last mistake for quite a few holes as the former U.S. Senior Open champion went on a birdie tear.
 
He holed a 10-footer for birdie at two, a 12-footer at the third, an eight- foot birdie at four and topped the run off with a 7-iron to 12 feet at the par-3 fifth.
 
Fleisher parred the next three holes but closed his front nine with a 10-footer for birdie to make the turn in 5-under 29.
 
'I got off to a good start today,' said Fleisher. 'It was great conditions and the greens were soft today.'
 
Fleisher wasted little time in going into red figures on his second nine. He tallied back-to-back birdies with a 15-footer at 11 and a two-putt at the par-5 12th.
 
He birdied the 15th but missed chances for birdie at 16 and 17. All in all, the 62 matched his lowest round on the Champions Tour after he turned the trick in the final round of the Southern Open.
 
'This is a tough course, but it's in great shape,' said Fleisher, who is currently eighth on the elder circuit's money list. 'Just look at the good scores. The fairways and greens are soft enough to hold your shots.'
 
Gilder was also bogey-free on Friday. He collected six birdies, including four in a five-hole span around the turn, to finish in second place.
 
'It's more fun closing in on someone than being out in front,' said Gilder, who won this year's Emerald Coast Classic. 'I was pumped up to play today. I knew we'd need some low scores today. I hope I can keep it up.'
 
Seiji Ebihara, Rodger Davis, Gary Koch, John Bland and Des Smyth share fourth place at 4-under-par 66. James Mason, Dana Quigley, Jerry McGee, Hugh Baiocchi and John Harris are tied for ninth at minus-3.
 
Hubert Green, the 2002 winner, is not on hand this week. He was scheduled to make his return from throat cancer treatment, but pulled out Tuesday afternoon.
 
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