Levi Stays Hot in Texas

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2004 Administaff Small Business ClassicSPRING, Texas -- Wayne Levi, who won last week's Constellation Energy Classic, and Walter Hall fired matching rounds of 8-under-par 64 Friday to share the first-round lead of the inaugural Adminstaff Small Business Classic.
 
Jim Dent is alone in second place after an opening-round, 6-under-par 66 at Augusta Pines Golf Club.
 
Levi, who went wire-to-wire last week for his second Champions Tour victory, flew out of the gate on Friday. He tallied three birdies in a row from the first, including a 6-footer at one, a tap-in at the par-5 second and an 18-footer at the third. He made a nice up-and-down par save at the fourth to keep his momentum.
 
Levi cooled with five pars in a row, but caught fire again at the start of his second nine. He knocked a 9-iron to eight feet to set up birdie at the 10th and made it back-to-back birdies with a 10-footer at the 11th.
 
He hit a pitching-wedge to 2 feet for a tap-in birdie at No. 12 and polished off four birdies in a row at the 13th. Levi played a 5-iron to 20 feet at the hole to reach 7 under par for the championship.
 
Levi two-putted from 30 feet at the par-5 closing hole for his eighth birdie and a round of 64, which tied his lowest score since joining the Champions Tour in 2002.
 
'Of all the tournaments I've won, I haven't done well the week after,' said Levi, who won 12 PGA Tour events and captured the 1990 Player of the Year award. 'It's hard to shoot bad with the way I've been hitting the ball. I'm putting a little better now, too.'
 
Hall also played well early in Friday's opening round. He birdied his first four holes, all from inside 12 feet, but his fifth birdie was his best. Hall sank a 40-footer at the par-5 seventh to make the turn at 5-under-par 31.
 
Hall collected seven pars around the turn until the long, par-3 15th. He hit a 5-wood to 15 feet and drained the birdie putt to reach 6 under par.
 
At the par-3 17th, Hall ran home a 20-foot birdie putt to go to minus-7. Hall two-putted from 60 feet at the last to join Levi in a tie for the lead.
 
'I really played well,' said Hall, whose only win on the elder circuit came at the 2001 Canada Senior Open Championship. 'The course is in perfect condition. It's right there in front of you, just go and get it.'
 
Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe and John Harris are tied for fourth place at 5-under-par 67.
 
Craig Stadler, who is trying to tie Chi Chi Rodriguez's Champions Tour record with four consecutive wins in as many starts, posted a 3-under 69 and is tied for 17th.
 
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