Vantage Championship
Vantage Championship
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Jenkins leads after second 65

Tom Jenkins got out his pencil and scribbled his name into the headline of a local newspaper this morning -- then went out and shot another great round at the $1.5 million Vantage Championship.

Jenkins was angry his name was left out of a group of four players who finished the first round tied for second.

"Nice headline by the way," Jenkins said after a second straight 5-under 65 was enough to hold off little-known Fred Gibson -- who tied the course record -- for a one-shot lead. "It kind of got me fired up today."

Jenkins, who won earlier this year outside of Philadelphia, is at 10-under 130 heading into Sunday's final round. He had six birdies and one bogey.

Gibson, whose spectacular 8-under 62 tied the Tanglewood Park course mark, and Bob Duval, who shot a 66, were tied for second.

Jenkins said he got off to a good start after pulling his approach shot on the first hole into a sand trap, and then almost chipped it in. He then birdied Nos. 3 and 4 to get rolling.

"It will be some excitement, but that's where we want to be," Jenkins said of his feelings heading to Sunday with the lead. "That's the feeling we want to feel out there. That's why we're doing it."

Gibson, a former club pro who has no wins and only six top-10 finishes in 63 career Senior PGA Tour starts, headed into the second round six shots behind first-round leader Jim Dent. But Gibson's round of one eagle, seven birdies and one bogey gave him a two-day total of 131.

Other players to shoot a 62 at Tanglewood include Terry Dill in the final round of last year's tourney, and Hale Irwin and Dave Eichelberger in 1997.

David Graham fired his second straight 4-under 66 and is two shots off the pace. Dent and Bruce Fleisher are another shot back at 7-under. Dent shot an even-par 70 and Fleisher had a 68.

Gibson, who called his round "a blur," got off to a quick start when he birdied his first two holes and then holed a shot from 100 yards for another birdie on No. 4.

His only bogey during his career-best round came at No. 9 after flying the ball into the back bunker. But Gibson got hot again on the back side of the 6,600-yard layout.

Gibson holed another shot from the fairway on No. 12 -- this time from 175 yards with a 5-iron on the hardest hole on the course -- to move to 6-under. At that point he was still three shots behind co-leaders Jenkins and Graham.

"Low rounds usually start by either chip-ins or hole-outs," Gibson said. "I've seen a lot of them over the last two years because these guys out here can play. They do that a lot. I figured if I stayed close to them maybe it would rub off on me and sure enough."

Gibson closed with birdies on Nos. 14, 17 and 18, capping his brilliant round with a little 3-footer on the final hole.

Gibson said he doesn't have a problem when people on the golf course ask: "Who's that guy?"

"Being unknown is great," Gibson said of his anonymity, "I'm sure winning would change that to a certain degree but I'm sure I could wear sunglasses or something to hide."

Meanwhile, Irwin needed a birdie on his final hole to run his consecutive streak of par-or-better rounds to 26 in a row. However, he slid an 8-foot putt by the hole for a par and a 1-over 71, falling two rounds shy of the senior tour record.

After winning here in 1995 and '97 and finishing second last year, the tour's leading money winner was at 1-over 141 -- 11 shots behind the leader.

 


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