Kite Flying High at Home

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Tom Kite, an Austin resident, fired a 7-under 65 Saturday to move into the lead after two rounds of the inaugural Kinko's Classic at The Hills Country Club. Kite stands at 10-under-par 134, one shot ahead two players.
 
'Any place would be the perfect place to get a win,' said Kite. 'There are a lot of guys who'd like to win this tournament. It's going to be a shootout.'
 
Hale Irwin, who shot a 6-under 66, and Tom Watson share second place at minus-9. Watson started the day in second place, one shot out of the lead, and carded a 3-under 69 to share second with Irwin.
 
Kite had a fairly nondescript front nine with two birdies and seven pars.
 
Around the turn, he caught fire. Kite birdied the par-5 10th to start rolling. The six-time winner on the Champions Tour followed that with a birdie at the next.
 
Kite continued to roll. He birdied each of the next three holes, all par-4s, to make it five consecutive birdies and get to minus-10. Kite however ended the run with a thud as he bogeyed the par-4 15th.
 
The University of Texas alum closed out his round in style with a birdie at the par-5 last. It was a good thing he did, as both Irwin and Watson birdied the same hole.
 
'Today was a lot of fun, and I was pleased with it,' Kite said. 'I feel like I'm playing really well right now.'
 
Irwin, who has five top-five finishes this season, is still searching for his first victory of the year. The all-time leader in Champions Tour wins got off to a quick start with birdies at Nos. 2 and 3.
 
However he faltered with a bogey at the next. Irwin erased that mistake with two more birdies on the front nine to make the turn at minus-6.
 
On the back side, Irwin wrapped birdies at the 10th and 12th around a bogey at 11. He capped his 66 with birdies at the 16th and 18th to grab a share of second place.
 
Watson began one stroke behind Joe Inman. However he dropped off the pace with three bogeys on the front nine. He dropped a shot at the first, but recovered with a birdie at six. Watson faltered with back-to-back bogeys from the eighth to make the turn at plus-2 for his round.
 
The reigning Senior Tour Championship winner got hot around the turn. He birdied the par-5 10th and followed that with birdies at 11 and 12. Like Irwin, Watson closed with birdies on 16 and 18 to enter the final round one shot behind Kite.
 
'It was like two rounds of golf today,' said Watson. 'The engine was missing on the front nine, but I changed the spark plug on the back nine.'
 
Bruce Lietzke fired a 5-under 67 to move to 8-under-par 136. He stands alone in fourth place, one stroke clear of Allen Doyle. John Schroeder and Morris Hatalsky share sixth place at 6-under-par 138.
 
Inman, the overnight leader, struggled to a 2-over 74. He shares eighth place with Andy Bean, Graham Marsh and Andy North. Those four men stand at 5-under-par 139.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Kinko's Classic of Austin
  • Full coverage of the Kinko's Classic of Austin