Kite Soaring in Windy Hawaii

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KAHUKU, Hawaii -- Tom Kite fired a 5-under 67 Saturday in windy conditions to take the lead through two rounds of the Turtle Bay Championship. Kite finished 36 holes at 6-under-par 138, two shots clear of Rex Caldwell.
 
'It was a little bit of a guessing game with the wind,' said Kite whose last win came one year ago at the Napa Valley Championship. 'It has blown every day since I've been here though. I don't think we'll see it calm down tomorrow either.'
 
Hale Irwin, the three-time defending champion, struggled to a 1-over 73. He shares third place with Dana Quigley at 3-under-par 141. Joe Inman is one stroke further back at minus-2.
 
Kite opened his round on the Palmer Course at the Turtle Bay Resort three shots behind Irwin, Caldwell and Quigley, who shared the first round lead. Kite fell farther off the pace as he three-putted for bogey at the par-4 second.
 
He rebounded with a tap-in birdie at the next hole and came back to birdie the par-4 fifth from 20 feet out. Kite closed out his opening nine with a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth.
 
Kite made his move on the back nine. He chipped in for birdie on the 11th to grab the outright lead and followed with another birdie on No. 12 to extend his lead. The 54-year-old moved to 6-under with a 10-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
 
However, he dropped a shot on the par-3 15th when his tee shot carried over the green. He stretched his lead back to two shots as he birdied the par-5 closing hole from 15 feet out.
 
'I've been playing well and I'm starting to make some putts,' said Kite, who owns six Champions Tour wins. 'I really feel like my putting stroke is very, very good, very solid. I know exactly what I'm trying to do. There's just a question of whether I do it or not.'
 
Caldwell stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the first. He came back with a birdie on No. 3, but followed with a bogey at the next when his tee ball found water. He remained in the lead at that point at minus-3 with several other players.
 
As Kite was taking charge, Caldwell rolled off six straight pars. He dropped a stroke at the 11th to fall back to minus-2. Caldwell was able to climb back into a share of second place with birdies on the 14th and 18th to close out an even-par round of 72.
 
'It was tough out there as you can see by the scores,' Caldwell said. 'You try to play the best you can out there with the conditions. The wind blew a lot harder today than it did yesterday.'
 
Ed Fiori, Bob Gilder, James Mason and Tom Purtzer share sixth place at 1-under-par 143. D.A. Weibring, Butch Sheehan, Jim Colbert, Dick Mast and Lonnie Nielson are one stroke further back at even-par.
 
Graham Marsh, who is tied for 20th at 2-over-par 146, made tournament history on Saturday. He recorded the first hole-in-one in tournament history at the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay on the 140-yard eighth hole. It was the ninth of his career.
 
Marsh gained some company later in the day when Bob Murphy aced the fourth hole with a 6-iron. This marked the fourth time this season that there have been two holes-in-one in one round.
 
Jan Stephenson, a member of the LPGA Tour playing on a sponsor's exemption, had more trouble on Saturday. She stumbled to a 12-over 84 and is 20-over par for the tournament. She carded six bogeys and two double-bogeys on Saturday.
 

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