Fleisher, Nelson share Champions lead

Sept. 26, 2003 at 7:03 PM

CONOVER, N.C., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Bruce Fleisher had five straight birdies Friday en route to an 8-under 64 that tied him with Larry Nelson atop the Greater Hickory Classic.

Fleisher has played some of his best golf in North Carolina since joining the Champions Tour in 1999. Four of his 16 titles have come in this state, including three straight at the defunct Home Depot Invitational in Charlotte.

Birdies were plentiful in the first round as 11 players shot 67 or better. Bob Gilder was alone in third at 65, one stroke ahead of James Mason, Tom Jenkins and Craig Stadler.

While there has not been a dominant player on the tour this season, Fleisher has been among the standouts. He won the Verizon Classic in February and has three runner-up finishes.

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