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Published: 7/31/2005

U.S. Senior Open notebook: Floyd has `feeling' for NCR

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

KETTERING, Ohio - Much of yesterday turned into yesteryear for 62-year-old Raymond Floyd, who won the PGA Championship at NCR Country Club in 1969.

But even while he was tied for the lead during the third round of the 2005 U.S. Senior Open, Floyd never confused then with now.

"No way," he said. "I sure don't feel that good now."

Floyd's 1-under 69 marked a third straight round in the 60s and he is tied for third, three shots out of the lead after 54 holes.

"Obviously, there's a good feeling," Floyd said. "The course fit my eye 36 years ago and it still fits my eye. I'm comfortable on the tee and that's paramount."

Floyd's birdie at No. 10, his fourth of the day, moved him into a tie for the lead with Loren Roberts. He fell back again a few minutes later when Roberts holed his approach shot for an eagle on the same hole.

"I'd have never thought at the start of the week that you'd have to shoot so low to win here," he said. "I know I can't go out there and shoot par [today] and win. A lot of people are playing well, and I think I'd have to go out and shoot 4 or 5 or 6-under."

Floyd, who won the 1986 U.S. Open as one of his four major championships on the regular tour, has won every senior major except the Open, where he has five top-10 finishes in 12 previous starts.

SHARK BITES: With an eagle and three birdies, Greg Norman got after it early in yesterday's second round.

"Then it got after me," he joked after completing a 2-under 69 that left him five shots out of the lead after 54 holes.

He scored birdies at Nos. 3 and 4, then hit a driver-3 wood combo to within 22 feet and made the putt for an eagle. A birdie at No. 7 got him to 8-under and, momentarily, into a tie for the lead.

But that was the end his rally.

"It turned out to be a very frustrating day because I thought I had some good momentum going," Norman said. "But on [Nos.] 8 and 9 I left putts short and that sort of stalled me.

"Five shots is going to be tough to make up. I guess I'd have to shoot a 64 or something like that. I haven't really played the back nine well this week, so hopefully that's still out there for me."

NEW STREAK: Dana Quigley has now played in one tournament in a row. That's because a hip injury kept him from traveling to last week's Senior British Open, which snapped his Iron Man streak of 264 consecutive Champions Tour events.

He put a hot stretch together yesterday for the first time in three rounds of the Senior Open and produced a 5-under 66. But he doubted the rare, one-week layoff affected his play in the early rounds.

"I hope I don't get out of rhythm that easily," said Quigley, who logged seven birdies over his first 14 holes yesterday. "I probably put a little extra pressure on myself to try to play well and show that the end of the streak wouldn't bother me psychologically.

"But the bottom line is that until today I couldn't make a putt. I had 69 putts on Thursday and Friday, so I'm really thankful that I even made the cut, to be honest with you."

6 OVER 60: Floyd is one of six golfers over the age of 60 who made the cut here.

Others include Bruce Summerhays (73 yesterday for a 3-under 210 total), Hale Irwin (74-214), Jay Sigel (72-215), Dale Douglass (73-216) and Jim Colbert (77-221).

Douglass is the oldest of the remaining competitors. The 1986 Senior Open champion is 69 years old.



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