McCord, Canizares share midway lead at Champions' major

Saturday, July 10, 2004

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Gary McCord is going to skip work to play golf.

And he's not going to get in trouble.

McCord, better known as a TV golf analyst than an occasional player on the Champions Tour, surged into the lead at the Senior Players Championship on Friday with an 8-under 64.

He was then caught by Jose Maria Canizares, whose 66 also put him at 10 under at one of the senior tour's five majors.

McCord does not play regularly because of his job at CBS, which will broadcast the final two rounds and turn McCord into a player-analyst at least on Saturday when he's in the final group.

"I'll just do interviews on the golf course, or something," he said. "I don't know what we'll do. We'll figure it out."

First-round leader Gil Morgan followed up his 65 with a 2-under 70 and was at 9 under, tied for second place with Dana Quigley and Mark James. Ed Fiori and Doug Tewell will start Saturday's third round another stroke back.

Defending champion Craig Stadler and Bruce Fleisher were among a group of four at 7 under, just three strokes back.

With nine birdies and one bogey, McCord fell one stroke short of the tournament record.

"I kept hitting the ball where I was aiming, the right distance and everything, which is usually not the case with me," he said.

McCord has not won on the Champions Tour since winning twice in 1999, and has not led an event in nearly three years.

In six previous tournaments this season, he tied for seventh once in March and has finished tied for 20th twice. In 10 events last year, he finished no better than tied for 15th.

McCord said it's difficult for analysts to also play competitively, noting Gary Koch and Andy North have found that out.

"It's hard when you go back and forth," said McCord, whose best finish on the PGA Tour was a second. "It's really hard to get any kind of momentum going, just about impossible."

McCord said his playing schedule is sporadic at best. He tries to play 10 tournaments, half as many as he broadcasts.

PGA TourJose Coceres waited out a lengthy rain delay and played into fading daylight Friday, taking a one-shot lead before play was suspended in the second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

The 40-year-old Argentine was 2 under through 11 holes for the round and was 11 under overall when play was halted because of lightning. About half of the field was to return and finish on Saturday morning before the start of the third round.

Vaughn Taylor (69) was one stroke off the lead at 132, tied with Greg Chalmers who was 3 under through 13 holes when play was called.

A group of eight was four shots off the lead.

LPGA TourMeg Mallon shot a 2-under 70 that kept her in the lead after the second round of the Canadian Women's Open in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Mallon, coming off last week's win at the U.S. Women's Open, was at 9-under 135, a stroke ahead of Lorena Ochoa, who had a second-round 67.

Defending champion Beth Daniel (68), Gloria Park (70), Dawn Coe-Jones (69) and rookie Aree Song (66) were tied for third at 137, a stroke ahead of Nancy Scranton, who had a second-round 69.

Scottish OpenGregory Havret made an eagle and three birdies over the final six holes for a 7-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond in Luss, Scotland.

Havret was at 9-under 133 going into the final two rounds that will not include Phil Mickelson. The Masters champion shot an even-par 71 to finish at 1-over 143 and missed the cut.

David Howell also shot a 64 and was at 134 along with Phillip Price (69) and Ian Poulter (67).

-- From wire reports

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