Two share PGA Tour qualifying lead

Dec. 8, 2002 at 9:51 PM
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LA QUINTA, Calif., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Jeff Brehaut and Brian Bateman shared the lead at 17-under-par 343 Sunday with one round to go at the 2002 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament .

Brehaut fired the best round of the tournament with a bogey-free, 9-under-par 63 at the PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, which along with the Tournament Players Club Stadium Course is hosting the six-round tournament.

"That was probably my two best rounds of the year right there," said Brehaut. "I got off to a good start and then my putter was just smoking hot on the back side. I made everything and that is why I shot 63."

Brehaut's low round gives him a cushion heading into Monday's final round at the tougher Stadium Course, when all eyes will be on the top 35 players and ties receiving their 2003 tour cards.

"Out there (Stadium Course) you have to pick and choose your chances," said Brehaut. "Having a little cushion will make it a little easier. Every birdie that I got today was like one more I wouldn't have to worry about tomorrow."

Bateman fired his fourth consecutive round in the 60s with a 6-under-par 66 after opening the six-round tournament with a 2-over-par 74.

"I played well today," said Bateman. "My whole game plan all week has been to try and keep it in play and hit a lot of fairways and greens. I made a few putts today and that always helps at q-school."

Alex Cejka (64) and John Morgan (71) were just one shot back at 16-under par while Chris Anderson (69) was two behind the leaders.

Making one of the biggest moves of the day was Casey Martin, who had a 5-under-par 67. Martin jumped 16 spots into a tie for 21st place after entering the round tied for 37th.

"There is still a lot of golf to play," said Martin. "Hopefully I'll just hit some good shots and keep myself calm tomorrow."

Martin is one of many on the bubble to finish in the top 35 on Monday.

Others players in a similar situation include Brett Quigley (tied for 25th), Greg Kraft (tied for 31st), Ted Purdy (tied for 31st), Dave Stockton, Jr. (tied for 31st), Andy Miller (tied for 31st), Woody Austin (tied for 41st), Mark Hensby (tied for 41st), Brandel Chamblee (tied for 41st), Steve Pate (tied for 48th), Bob Friend (tied for 54th), Ken Green (tied for 54th), Russ Cochran (tied for 64th) and Bob May (tied for 64th).

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