Lee Elder's respectable second round yesterday at the State Farm Senior Classic at Hobbit's Glen Golf Club in Columbia did not diminish his chagrin over his first-round score.
Elder posted the highest score in the field of 78 on Friday with a 13-over-par 85. Yesterday he recovered, shooting an even-par 72.
"[Friday] took a lot out of me," Elder said. "It took almost everything out of me. To shoot 85 is just something that I haven't done. . . . I had quite a few friends here walking [the course]. It was an embarrassing situation for me to play that bad, because they've never seen me play that bad."
Several factors contributed to his high score on Friday. Elder used a new set of clubs and, according to his wife, Sharon, he slept for only a few hours before his 8:10 a.m. tee time.
"It was just a round that was like a nightmare," Elder said. "A round that I didn't think it was possible that I could have. I think you get to a point where after you get so many over you just give up. That's what I did. I did not fight it throughout the whole round. I just kind of gave up."
He birdied the first two holes yesterday and was at 1 under with one hole to play. He selected the wrong club at the 18th and bogeyed the hole.
"Today, it was a lot calmer, more satisfying day," Elder said. "If I can shoot under par tomorrow, then fine, I will feel like I have redeemed myself. It's hard to forget a high round like that. . . . It's going to stay in my mind for a while."
`Big Cat' Snares Two Eagles
His friends on the tour call Evan Williams "Big Cat" because of his imposing stature and ability to drive the ball long. But Williams, who made two eagles yesterday in a round of 3-under 69, earned his nickname from another sport.
When Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams fought Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) for the heavyweight title at the Astrodome in 1966 and was knocked out in the third round, Evan Williams was a small forward on the basketball team at Canisius (N.Y.) and had gotten into a scuffle during practice earlier that day. The next morning, after his poor showing, he had a new nickname: "Big Cat."
Williams shot a 75 in the first round and started shaky yesterday. He bogeyed two of his first four holes.
"I said, `Aw, I'm going to have one of those days,' " he said. "It's going to be hot. It's not going to be any fun. I'm going to struggle the whole day. . . . Then I put it about 15 feet on the fringe [on No. 5] and made that for eagle. Then my whole outlook changed."
For his second shot on 15, Williams blistered a 3-wood that left him six feet from the hole. He made the putt for his second eagle of the day, becoming the first at this tournament to make two eagles in one round. Last year on the Senior PGA Tour, just nine golfers made two eagles in one round. . . .
Terry Dill made a three-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to win his first Super Seniors title by one shot over Orville Moody. Dill finished at 71-68 -- 139 to earn the $30,000 purse. Super Seniors is a 36-hole tournament held within a Senior PGA Tour event. Golfers 60 and older compete for a purse separate from the tournament total. The Super Seniors purse at this event is $175,000; the full tournament purse is $1.3 million.