McCord Canizares Share Ford Lead


DEARBORN, Mich. -- Gary McCord shot a blistering 8-under 64 on Friday to secure a share of the halfway lead at the Ford Senior Players Championship. McCord finished 36 holes at 10-under-par 134 along with Jose Maria Canizares.
Gil Morgan, who held the first-round lead, carded a 70 to join Dana Quigley and Mark James in a tie for third at 9-under-par 135.
McCord, who manages to get some golf in every now and then while working as an analyst for CBS television, strolled around the TPC of Michigan breathing an air of confidence that lifted him to the 36-hole lead of a major championship.
'Today, it was very relaxing,' said McCord, who won twice on the Champions Tour in 1999. 'It was good, everything was good. One of those days that it's kind of fun to play.'
McCord picked up a birdie at the first, but found trouble with a bogey at the par-3 fourth after his tee shot nestled in a bunker. With that early stumble out of the way, McCord got back to make birdies, in a major way.
He knocked a wedge to 12 feet at the par-4 fifth for the first of four consecutive birdies to reach 6 under around the turn. At the par-4 10th, McCord dropped a wedge within a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie to keep his momentum going.
McCord added a birdie at the par-3 12th and made it two in a row with a birdie at the par-5 13th. McCord then hit his tee shot to 5 feet for a birdie at the par-3 15th to assume the outright lead.
The ever-talkative McCord parred his way in before giving some insights on balancing a television career with a life on tour.
'This is a big chalkboard, okay. Write it down. Basically, it's memory,' he said. 'The more you play, the more you've got stuff on your chalkboard and the more you can refer to it. The only way to fill that up is to go play. There's no other way to do it.'
McCord still recognizes that filling this chalkboard becomes more difficult when golf isn't the main focus.
'Like Gary Koch, I talk to him and he's going, 'How are you doing this?'' said McCord. 'And Andy North, having a tough time. It's hard when you go back and forth. It's really hard to get any kind of momentum going, just about impossible.'
Canizares made his move in the afternoon, rocketing up the leaderboard over his closing holes to join McCord in the lead.
After an up-and-down front nine, Canizares tallied a birdie at the par-4 10th to get back to even par on his round. The Spaniard parred the next two holes before beginning an unbelievable run with a birdie at the par-5 13th.
Canizares added a birdie at the 14th and made it three in a row with a birdie at the very next hole. The 57-year-old wasn't done yet, and kept the birdie streak going, ultimately knocking an 8-iron inside 2 feet for a birdie at the last to go six-for-six down the stretch.
'I hit the ball very well,' said Canizares, who posted a 6-under 66. 'When you make six birdies at the end you're happy.'
After a 65 gave him the first-round lead, Morgan cooled off considerably with a lone birdie over his first nine holes. He faltered with a bogey at the 11th, but added a birdie at the 13th and a birdie at the 16th to finish one shot back.
Quigley tallied four birdies over his first six holes, but struggled to a bogey at the seventh. He drained a 15-foot putt for a birdie at the 10th and collected another birdie at the par-5 13th.
At the par-3 15th, Quigley played his tee shot to 12 feet and converted the putt en route to a round of 67.
'If my confidence gets better, I can only play better,' said Quigley, who is playing in the 250th consecutive event for which he has been eligible.
James collected six birdies to go along with one bogey for a 67 of his own.
'It was a lot easier today,' said the former European Ryder Cup captain. 'Today I started playing very well and kept going right through really.'
Doug Tewell and Ed Fiori share sixth place at 8-under-par 136. Defending champion Craig Stadler, Bruce Fleisher, Bruce Lietzke and Jim Ahern followed at 7-under-par 137.
Allen Doyle, who won this event in a playoff in 2001, was one shot further back along with Hugh Baiocchi at 6-under-par 138.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Ford Senior Players Championship
  • Full Coverage - Ford Senior Players Championship