Saturday, January 25, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Golf -- Jones Matches Pga Record, Has 5-Stroke Lead In Phoenix


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Steve Jones turned up the heat in the Phoenix Open yesterday with a 7-under-par 64 that helped him match a PGA Tour record and open a five-stroke lead with two rounds to go.

Jones shot a 62 for openers and led Nick Price by two shots. Other challengers emerged during the second round, and he outshot all but one.

The 1996 U.S. Open champion's 36-hole total of 16-under 126 tied the PGA Tour record for the first 36 holes.

Tommy Bolt started a tournament with 126 in 1954, Paul Azinger matched that in 1989, and John Cook and Rick Fehr did the same last year. The 72-hole record for the 6,992-yard TPC of Scottsdale, which opened in 1987, is 21-under by Mark Calcavecchia in 1989.

Tommy Towles and David Duval, who started 5-under, each made a run.

Towles had nine birdies and reached 13-under at one point before bogeying two of the last three holes to fall back into a tie with Duval at 131. Duval had a 65 on the strength of seven birdies and one bogey.

Azinger, the 1987 Phoenix winner, shot his way into contention with a 63, the only score better than Jones' yesterday But Azinger had too much ground to make up and was six shots off the lead in a tie with Jesper Parnevik.

Calcavecchia, a two-time winner, Fehr, Fulton Allem and Woody Austin pulled in with 134s, with Jeff Maggert and Mark Brooks at 135.

Tiger Woods, gunning for another title after winning the season-opening Mercedes Championships and then skipping the Bob Hope, fired a second straight 68 and was in an 11-player cluster at 136. The group also included Price, who shot 72.

Seventy-three players made the cut, with defending champion Phil Mickelson and 15 others bringing up the rear at 141.

Seventy-two faced the tall order of catching Jones, who has been in the top 10 of both tournaments this year.

Jones started on the back nine with three straight pars. His pace changed dramatically when he knocked an 8-iron within 4 1/2 feet with his second shot on the par-5 13th and holed the putt. He birdied the next hole, then eagled No. 15 with a 20-foot putt to shave four strokes in three holes.

Trevino dubious, but game

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii - Out of shape and suffering from allergies, Lee Trevino said he doesn't expect his play at the Senior Skins tournament here to be very sharp. The 57-year-old Trevino is subbing at the last minute for his old friend, Arnold Palmer, sidelined by prostate cancer.

"I never got in shape, never hit a golf ball," in the past six months, Trevino said. "I was 180, but I'm tipping the scales at 200 now. I'm driving long, putting good, but I'm not as pinpoint with my irons as I used to be. I don't think I have that flexibility. Every shot is a labor."

Three-time defending champion Raymond Floyd, Jack Nicklaus and newcomer Hale Irwin will be the other players in the foursome. They play nine holes today and nine more tomorrow, with $540,000 at stake.

"I'm going be trying extra hard because I'm playing for Arnold Palmer," Trevino said. "I don't know if I'm going to win anything, but I'm going to be a bulldog out there."


-- Palmer said yesterday that prostate cancer surgery will keep him from swinging a golf club for six more weeks but that he plans to play competitive golf again, hopefully as soon as the Masters in April. "I have every intention of being at Augusta," he said. "I plan to play."

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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