Delsing leads Calcavecchia by 1 in Phoenix

January 26, 1992

PHOENIX XHC -HJB — PHOENIX -- Jay Delsing surrendered then regained his lead yesterday and will carry a one-shot advantage into the final round of the $1 million Phoenix Open today.

Delsing teed off for the third round with a two-stroke advantage at the Tournament Players' Club, but dropped two strokes in 12 holes. An eagle and two late birdies helped him turn things

around, and he finished with a 2-under-par 69 for a 13-under 200.

Delsing was a stroke in front of former British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia, with 12 other players within four shots of the lead.

Duffy Waldorf moved into a share of third place with John Huston, two strokes from the lead.

Senior Skins Game

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii -- Jack Nicklaus, who dominated a year ago, began the 1992 event in much the same fashion, winning two holes worth five skins and $95,000.

The second nine holes of the $450,000 event will be played today. The first hole, No. 10, will be worth $50,000 since the final hole of yesterday's round was tied.

"When I came out here, I'd played three previous days and I was shooting about 75 every day," said Nicklaus, who hadn't played competitively for a few months. "I hit the ball poorly, but each day I got better.

"My tempo started coming back and I played well the last couple of days and I was confident my game was coming together. I played really well today."

Nicklaus earned $65,000 when he hit his second shot to within 12 feet of the pin on the par-4, 390-yard eighth hole, then rolled in his putt for birdie after his three competitors each missed long tries for birdie.

After winning $310,000 in last year's Senior Skins, Nicklaus got on the board in this year's tournament when he made a 2-foot birdie putt on the third hole to earn $30,000.

Lee Trevino, on medication for an ear infection, won two holes, worth a total of $30,000, and Chi Chi Rodriguez won one hole worth $15,000 on the first day of the two-day event at Mauna Lani Resort.

Arnold Palmer, too strong with his irons most of the day, did not win a hole.

"I played poorly," Palmer said, shaking his head. "I drove OK, but the rest was just very bad."

Rodriguez and Nicklaus tied No. 9 to carry the $25,000 prize money for that hole over to the second day. With Nicklaus lying 3 within a foot of the pin on the par-5 ninth hole, Rodriguez knocked in his 10-footer for birdie to keep Nicklaus from adding that hole to his first day take.

Rodriguez also made a pressure-packed, 7-footer on No. 7 to tie Nicklaus, who had just made a twisting 25-footer for a birdie 3. The tie made the eighth hole worth $65,000, since the sixth hole also was halved.

Rodriguez, determined not to be blanked, as he was last year in the Senior Skins, made a 30-foot birdie putt worth $15,000 on the fifth hole to end his drought. Nicklaus barely missed tying the hole when his putt from 15 feet stopped just short of the hole.

Trevino earned his second skin, worth $15,000, with his second birdie, on the fourth hole. Trevino hit his second shot on the par-4, 395-yard hole to within 12 feet of the pin, while the other players were left with long tries for birdie.

Nicklaus, whose take in the Senior Skins last year included $285,000 on the third playoff hole after all the final nine holes of regulation were tied, broke into the win column this time with a birdie on the par-5 third hole.

After the second hole was tied, Nicklaus hit his second shot on the 601-yard No. 3, longest hole on the course, about 35 feet from the hole. He putted to within 2 1/2 feet and, after Rodriguez missed an 8-foot birdie putt, Nicklaus knocked in the short putt for $30,000.

Trevino, who says the greatest pressure in skins competition comes from the fear of not winning a single hole during the tournament, eliminated that worry immediately, rolling in a 25-foot birdie putt on the first hole to earn $15,000.

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