Faxon, Purtzer lead Champions by 1

January 11, 1992|By New York Times News Service

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Brad Faxon and Tom Purtzer took a one-shot lead over a tightly bunched field yesterday in the second round of the Infiniti Tournament of Champions.

Faxon shot a 3-under-par 69 and Purtzer an even-par 72 to tie at 6-under 138 to lead the 32 golfers from the regular PGA Tour who qualified for this event by winning at least one tournament in 1991.

One shot back were Jay Don Blake and Billy Andrade. A group of four golfers trailed by two shots.

In the 18-man Senior Tour field, Al Geiberger and Lee Trevino are also tied at 138, but hold a five-shot lead over the nearest competitors. Both players shot 5-under-par 67s, tying the best score ever shot by a senior golfer in the Tournament of Champions.

Even under sunny skies with only light breezes, the La Costa course continued to play long as wet fairways and thick rough kept par a respectable figure. Several players said that irons shots were particularly difficult because golf balls that landed in the fairways were often caked with mud.

But Faxon, who qualified by winning the Buick Open and is playing in the Tournament of Champions for the first time in his eight-year career, played steady golf that made him the only player in the field to achieve consecutive scores below 70.

"I was getting used to taking the first tournament off, so for me it's a dream come true to play here," he said. "I don't know the course very well, but I'm probably better off not knowing anything."

Purtzer backed up an opening 66 with a relatively uneventful even-par round that was made up of 16 pars, one bogey and one birdie.

"I'm not really surprised the scores are not really low," said Purtzer. "I hung in there and I'm in good shape for the weekend."

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