Meshiai Claims Champions Q-School Lead


Champions TourST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Hajime Meshiai posted his second straight 4-under 68 on Friday to move to 13-under-par 203 and take a two-stroke lead through three rounds of the 2004 Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament at the King & Bear at the World Golf Village.
Second round co-leader Delroy Cambridge posted an even-par 72 and shares second place with Mike Malaska (70) and first-round leader Mike San Filippo (69) at 11-under-par 205. Tom McKnight, Bobby Lincoln and R.W. Eaks, the other second round co-leader, are one stroke further back at minus-10.
Meshiai got off to a hot start with birdies at one and two. He moved to minus-12 with a birdie at the par-5 fifth. He faltered to back-to-back bogeys from the sixth though.
The Chiba, Japan native, who finished third at this event last year, erased those mistakes with birdies at 10 and 12. Meshiai tripped to a bogey at the 14th, but came right to birdie 15.
Meshiai stumbled to another bogey at the 17th. He closed with an eagle at the last to get to 13 under.
Dick Mast, who played in six events on the Champions Tour in 2004, posted a 68 to move to 9-under-par 207. He is joined there by Harry Taylor (68) and Mark Johnson (70). Dave Barr and Don Reese are one stroke further back at minus-8.
Former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden faltered to a 4-over 76 and stands at 4-over-par 220. He is tied for 69th place, but is in line to make the cut, which comes after Saturday's round.
For the first time, the tournament is being contested over 108 holes. The field will be cut after tomorrow's fourth round to the low 70 and ties, plus any additional players who remain within 10 shots of the 15th position.
Seven players will walk away with full exemptions for the 2005 Champions Tour season, and eight more will receive conditional status.
Related links:
  • Scoring - Champions Tour Qualifying