Kite Poised for Another Big Win at Pebble


2005 WalMart First Tee OpenPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Tom Kite fired a 7-under 65 on Saturday to move atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. He stands at 10-under-par 134 and is one ahead after 36 holes.
This event pairs Champions Tour players with junior golfers from The First Tee program, as well as other amateurs. Due to this, the event is using two golf courses -- Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course -- for the first two rounds. Pebble Beach will be the site of the final round.
Jay Haas posted a 3-under 69 and is tied for second place with overnight leader D.A. Weibring, who only managed a 1-under 71 on Saturday. The pair is knotted at nine-under-par 135.
Kite played the Del Monte Golf Course on Saturday and began his second round on the back nine. He wasted little time in breaking into red figures as he knocked a sandwedge to 6 feet to set up birdie at the 10th.
He parred his next two, then two-putted from 30 feet for a birdie at the par-5 13th. He tapped in a short birdie putt at the 15th, but dropped a shot at the 16th when he could not save par from a bunker.
Kite more than atoned for the error at 16. He two-putted from 20 feet for another birdie at the 17th, then closed his front nine with an 18-foot birdie putt at 18.
On his second nine, Kite used a solid wedge game to move up the leaderboard. At the second, Kite hit a pitching wedge to 6 feet and made the birdie putt. Another 6-footer for birdie found the bottom of the cup at five, then Kite holed an 8-foot birdie putt at the seventh to move to the top of the leaderboard.
'It was a pretty solid round,' said Kite, a two-time winner this season on the Champions Tour. 'I played well from tee to green. It was very similar to the last few weeks.'
Kite, who is fifth on the money list on the elder circuit, should be at ease come Sunday afternoon. Kite won his only major at Pebble Beach, the 1992 U.S. Open.
'I'm looking forward to coming back over where I've had good memories,' said Kite. 'I'm enjoying playing any course right now. I've got a lot of confidence.'
Haas, who was the runner-up to Craig Stadler here two years ago, also played Del Monte on Saturday. He flew out of the gate with a two-putt birdie at the first, then rattled off three straight birdies from the fourth, with two coming from inside 2 feet.
Haas parred his next four holes, then bogeyed No. 11. He recorded seven consecutive pars the rest of the way for his share of second place.
'I was 4-under after six and didn't convert. I had my chances,' said Haas. 'I haven't had too many opportunities there at Pebble Beach. All in all, I'm one back.'
Weibring had a much more up-and-down round. He started on the back nine at Pebble Beach and bogeyed two of his first five holes. Weibring closed his opening nine with a birdie at the famous 18th.
On his second nine, Weibring recorded five birdies, including a tap-in at his last, two pars, a bogey and a double-bogey.
Dan Pohl (67), Mike McCullough (68), Scott Simpson (69), Tom Purtzer (70) and, last week's winner at The Tradition, Eduardo Romero (67) are tied for fourth place at minus-8.
Wayne Levi fired a 4-under 68 on Saturday and is tied for ninth place with David Edwards, who carded a 2-under 70 in the second round. The pair is knotted at 7-under-par 137.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - WalMart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach
  • Full Coverage - WalMart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach
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