Friday, November 17, 2017
Golf

Horrid start dooms Bruce Fleischer at Encompass Insurance Pro-Am

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LUTZ — First-round leader Bruce Fleischer got off to a terrible start for Saturday's second round of the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am and never recovered. He shot 7-over 78 and fell to 1 over for the tournament, 10 off the lead.

Fleischer began his round with two bogeys, a par and a triple bogey. He played the front nine in 7-over 42 and shot par 36 on the back nine.

"I'm not disappointed with how I struck the ball," said Fleischer, who shot 65 Friday. "I just had a really (bad) start. I wasn't seeing the (putting) lines right. "I was trying to make it as fun as I could, but I just couldn't get it going."

Fleischer, who won the tournament in 2000 and 2003, triple bogeyed the par-4 No. 4 after he hit consecutive tee shots into the water.

"When you make triples out here, it's hard to pull your pants up and keep going," he said.

Fleischer, 63, said he plans to play only 11 tournaments this season as he winds down his career. Asked if he was heading to the driving range after his round, Fleischer said, "Are you kidding me?"

Shot of the day: On the par-5 12th, Michael Allen drained a 40-footer for eagle to increase his lead.

"It was the longest putt I made all year," Allen said.

Lyle rebounds: After shooting 86 in the opening round of last week's Masters, Sandy Lyle went right to work, trying to fix his swing. He didn't want to embarrass himself again.

After a few tweaks, Lyle seems back in form. He shot a second straight 69 and is 4 under after two rounds, five shots off the lead. This is only the third tournament Lyle has played this year.

"After the 86 in the first round at Augusta, you feel a bit battered and bruised," Lyle said. "I had to go back and rethink and do a little video work. I've got a bit of my game back now."

Three more out: Tom Watson (right hand), Wayne Levi (back) and Lakeland's Andy Bean withdrew.

Watson shot an opening-round 77 and dropped out Saturday morning. Bean did not tee off either after shooting an opening round 11-over 82. Levi got in three holes before calling it a tournament.

Tommy Armour and Nick Price dropped out after starting the first round.

Pro-Am: The team of Olin Browne and Lisa O'Hurley lead the pro-am with a score of 20 under. Dick Mast and Rolf Klam are second at 19 under. Kenny Perry and Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino combined to shoot 59 Saturday and are at 16 under.

The top 16 amateurs, including the top-five celebrities — Pitino, former NFL QB Joe Theis­mann, Lightning co-founder Phil Esposito, TV reporter Stone Phillips and former major-leaguer Fred McGriff — make the cut.

Chip-ins: Taiwanese player Chien Soon Lu, one off the lead at the start of the day, took a big tumble. He shot 8-over 79 and was 3 over after an opening-round 66. … David Eger shot the low round of the day, 5-under 66, to move up 41 places on the leaderboard to a tie for sixth, six off the lead.

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