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Archive for Sunday, March 25, 2001

Schroeder maintains slight advantage

March 25, 2001

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— John Schroeder remained atop the leaderboard Saturday after the second round of the Emerald Coast Classic, a stroke ahead of fast-closing Jim Ahern.

Schroeder, seeking his first Senior PGA Tour victory in six seasons, shot a 3-under-par 67 for an 8-under 132 total on the Scottish-style course at The Moors Golf Club in the Florida Panhandle.

Andy North and Mike McCollough were three strokes back at 135, and Larry Nelson, Jose Maria Canizares and Bruce Fleisher were another shot behind.

Schroeder has had little experience as a leader, but he has seen how the best have won and lost as a golf commentator for more than 12 years with ABC, ESPN and NBC.

"I've seen how they carry themselves, so at least I have a concept," Schroeder said.

He hopes that concept will help him at least mentally in today's final round as he attempts to become the third straight Emerald Coast champion to lead wire-to-wire.

Ahern credited his 64 Saturday to some putting advice he sought from Dave Stockton after his first-round 69.

"He spent about 20 minutes with me and I made more putts today than I have in a long time," Ahern said. "He didn't like my grip, he didn't like my setup and he didn't like my stroke. Other than that I was fine."

Ahern proved a quick study, knocking in a 30-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole that he followed with successive four-foot birdie putts on the next two holes. He also birdied the seventh, 11th and 18th holes.

Schroeder had an up-and-down round with bogies on the first and 17th holes while recording five birdies including a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to keep the lead. He got a good break on the par-5 seventh hole when his second shot landed on a cart path after hitting a spectator. He then managed to save par.

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