Lon Hinkle shot three-under-par 68 today for a 132 total and a one-stroke lead over Keith Fergus heading into the third round of the $500,000 Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic at Kingsmill.
Fergus equaled Hinkle's opening-round 64, birdieing two of his first three holes before a rain delay. The 70-minute interruption hardly threw him off. After the rain, he made five more birdies, all in the next nine holes. His 25-foot birdie bid on the final green, which would have tied the course record, just missed.
Tied at 134 were a rejuvenated Roger Maltbie (66 today), Don Pooley (66), Wayne Grady (67), Paul Azinger (67) and Danny Edwards (64).
Curtis Strange, the PGA Tour's leading money winner, shot 65 over his home course and stood three strokes back, tied at 135 with Frank Conner, Mike Reid and Scott Simpson. Strange, with three victories and $520,081 earned this year, needs $10,727 to surpass Tom Watson's 1980 mark as the all-time PGA Tour single-season money winner.
Few golfers can shoot 65 and not have a great ball-striking round. Strange is one. "I chipped and putted like a maniac," said Strange, who grew up in Virginia Beach. "I hit the ball better and the shots look okay, but I don't feel good doing it. I'm not complaining, but a lot of it is local knowledge," said the man who says he covets this tournament more than any other.
Strange said he would have been satisfied with par on the par-4 fourth hole (his 13th, because he played the back nine first). Just short of a greenside bunker in two shots, Strange chipped into the hole for birdie to the roar of his Virginia-based gallery.
Hinkle, who started the day with a two-shot lead, birdied the first hole, and added four birdies to offset two bogeys. "I didn't putt nearly as well today. I wasn't as sharp," said the long-hitting 13-year veteran from Dallas. "I came here with a good attitude. I like my chances. That 68 might be my high round of the week."
Fergus said he tried to remain unperturbed by the rain delay. "I don't think anybody, once they start playing good, likes to stop because of the rain," he said.
Donnie Hammond, former Frederick pro now living in Daytona Beach, Fla., was five shots off the lead at 69 -- 137.
Calvin Peete, winner here in 1982 and 1983, missed the cut for the second year in a row, posting 76 -- 150. Cutoff score was even-par 142.
Tony DeLuca of Vienna shot 71 for 141 and made the cut for the third time in this tournament.
Washington-area players missing out were Regan O'Rourke, 76 -- 149; Mark Guttenberg, 82 -- 153, and Bruce Lehnhard, 75 -- 154.