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Ocala's Albright leading

By BRANT JAMES

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 24, 2001


BROOKSVILLE -- Steve Albright knows Joe Alfieri probably deserves to win a Florida State Amateur Championship. But Albright doesn't want it to come at his expense.

Entering the final day at 4 under par and 18 holes from a first Amateur title can make a player greedy like that.

"I know he doesn't want to win it any more than I do," Albright said of Alfieri, a 31-year-old food broker from Lutz who has finished second the past two years. "But it certainly sounds like he's due."

Albright, a 31-year-old real estate appraiser from Ocala, also may be due for a win. The leader after the second round, Albright shot a third-round 70 for 211 total at the Rolling Oaks course at World Woods on Saturday, opening a three-stroke lead over Alfieri (71) and Palm Beach Gardens' Brent Bush (72). Alfieri knows the tournament is not over. He also knows Albright won't be handing anything over.

"I like my chances," Alfieri said. "I definitely know what it's like to be under the gun, but (the game) doesn't owe me anything. You have to work for it."

And wait for it. Heavy rains caused six hours of delays. Albright and Alfieri, among the last to tee off, had the longest waits.

"It's a long day," Alfieri said, "and it'll wear on you. During the delay we just sat in the pro shop and waited. I had lunch maybe twice and tried to have patience."

Albright was able to escape the course for a while, lounging at the Crystal River home of friend and competitor Kelly Gosse.

When played resumed, Steve Carter of Jacksonville Beach showed few ill effects, producing the best round of the day, 5-under 67, to leap into a fourth-place tie with Naples' Robbie Schulz (69).

BUICK CLASSIC: The third round of the PGA Tour event was postponed until 9 a.m. today because of heavy rain, and the final round was rescheduled for 9 a.m. Monday at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y. A heavy shower left many portions of the course under water, making afternoon play impossible. Because today's forecast called for more rain and fog, officials thought it would be impossible to finish the event by playing 36 holes today. Sergio Garcia and Scott Hoch were tied for the lead at 7 under (135). Mark Wiebe was one behind, and four players -- Vijay Singh, Robert Allenby, Stewart Cink and J.P. Hayes -- were tied for fourth at 5 under. Tiger Woods was six off the lead. Garcia said he never has experienced a tournament where weather has caused so many problems. "We're almost thinking about playing Tuesday," he said. "It's kind of weird to be thinking about that."

FLEETBOSTON CLASSIC: Mike Hill shot 6-under 66 in the second round in Concord, Mass., taking a one-stroke lead as he goes for his first Senior PGA victory in five years. At 62 years, 6 months, Hill would be the third-oldest to win on the tour, the oldest since Gary Player won the 1998 Northville Long Island Classic at 62 years, 9 months. Defending champ Larry Nelson, the first-round leader with 65, shot 69 and bogeyed the 17th to drop to 10 under and finish one stroke back. "For me to be leading the tournament is probably a big surprise for a lot of people other than myself," Hill said.

GREAT NORTH OPEN: Andrew Coltart shot 3-under 69 to take a three-stroke lead in the European PGA Tour event in Hexham, England. Coltart, who had shared the second-round lead with Bradley Dredge, had 11-under 205 total on the Slaley Hall course. Dredge (72) and Jamie Spence (70) were tied for second.

U.S. WOMEN'S PUBLIC LINKS: Missy Farr-Kaye and qualifying medalist Candie Kung won semifinal matches in Long Grove, Ill. Farr-Kaye, the sister of late LPGA Tour player Heather Farr, beat Allison Johnson 5 and 4 on the Kemper Lakes course. Kung, the 1997 U.S. Girls' Junior runner-up, edged Karla Jane Schuldt 3 and 2.

INNERFORM CHALLENGE: Tampa's Beth Bauer shot 68 to move to 4-under 140 after the second round of the Futures Tour event in Grand Rapids, Mich. She trailed leader Joellyn Erdmann (69) by four. Bradenton's Sue Ertl (70) also was four back, and St. Petersburg's Shane Smith (75) missed the cut at 152.

-- Times wires contributed to this report.

* * *

TODAY ON TV: European, Great North Open, 9 a.m., GC; PGA, Buick Classic, 3, Ch. 28; Senior, FleetBoston Classic (taped), 6, CNBC.

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