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CHAMPIONS TOUR Streck takes two-shot lead into finals



Published: Sat, July 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) -- Ron Streck didn't come close to matching his spectacular opening round at the Commerce Bank Championship on Saturday. Still, he's in the lead entering the final round of a tournament for the first time.

Streck, looking for his first Champions Tour title, followed his first-round 62 with a 3-under 68, staying two strokes in front with a 12-under 130 total after 36 holes.

Tom Jenkins had a second-round 63 on the 6,989-yard Red Course at Eisenhower Park and was tied for second with Dave Eichelberger (67) and Craig Stadler (68). Five players were another stroke back, setting up what could be the tour's fifth straight playoff to decide a winner.

First lead in final round

This is the first time in his 28-plus years on the PGA and Champions tours that Streck has entered the final round with a lead.

"I was just trying to do the same thing I did yesterday," Streck said, referring to his nine-birdie, no-bogey opening round that had him two strokes in front. "I didn't hit as close as I did yesterday, obviously, and tomorrow I'll just try to play the same."

Streck is 65th on the money list this year with $98,000 and his best finish was a tie for 21st last week at the Bank of America Championship. He won twice on the PGA Tour -- at San Antonio in 1979 and at Houston in 1981. He closed his first tour win with rounds of 63 and 62 to beat Lee Trevino and Hubert Green by one stroke.

In 1981, Streck was the first player to use a metal wood in competition on the PGA Tour.

Dan Pohl (66), D.A. Weibring (67), John Harris (67), Gary McCord (68) and Darrell Kestner (68) were all at 9 under. Kestner could have Sunday's biggest gallery considering he is the pro at Deepdale Golf Club, about 6 miles away.

"This is the only place I'm bigger than Hale Irwin," Kestner said with a laugh.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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