Old pro Charlie (Horse) Sifford was all but marvelous off the tee and around the greens yesterday as he fashioned a four-under-par 68 to share the lead with Bobby Stoble in the 19th annual Capital City Open at Lee Elder's Langston golf course.
The final round of the 36-hole tournament will be played today at Langston with a shotgun start. Amateurs begin play at 8 a.m., the pros tee off at 1 p.m.
Sifford, 57, the cigar-chomping pioneer of PGA black touring pros who is now head pro at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Brocksville, Ohio, birdied five holes before falling into a tie with Stoble at 13 with his only bogey.
Sifford's approach shot was short and to the right. After hitting a poor chirp, he two-putted from eight feet.
"The ball was hung up in some long grass, and I hit a bad shot," said Sifford, who drew a gallery of 400 most of his round. "Heck, everybody hits some bad shots once and a while."
Only seven of 61 pros and one of 87 amateurs played par or better golf on the newly reconditioned, 6391-yard, par-72 Langston course. Despite Friday's rain, may of the dime-sized greens were slick as marble.
Stroble, of Albany, Ga., who was a touring pro from 1976 to 1978, birdied six holes but got himself into trouble on 16 and 17.
"I was having wedge trouble most of the day," he said. "But I am pretty satisfied with my round. The course is in great shape and I am in good position if I continue to play well."
Jim Black of Charlotte, N.C., was one black at 69. CAPTION: Picture, Charlie Sifford chomps at usual cigar before shooting 68. By Richard Darney-The Washington Post