Reid coming off win last week

Updated: June 4, 2005, 7:43 PM ET
Associated Press

POLK CITY, Iowa -- Mike Reid is still going strong after his head-turning victory a week ago.

Reid, enjoying unusual success on the longer holes, shot a 5-under 66 Saturday to take a two-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Allianz Championship.

Only three days ago, Reid still seemed in a daze over what he had done in the Senior PGA Championship last Sunday, when he came from three strokes down on the final hole to force a playoff, then won it on the first extra hole.

But he sure seems settled down and focused now. His near-perfect second round -- only one bogey -- left him at 7-under 135 for the tournament. When he did hit a bad shot, he'd recover on the next one.

"I knew my game was pretty sound, but I thought that focusing would be a challenge," Reid said. "Once I got a couple of holes under way on Friday, I started to feel like my mind wasn't wandering."

Bob Gilder, who changed his putting grip just before the round, matched Reid's 66 to pull into contention at 5 under along with Morris Hatalsky (67), Bruce Fleisher (70) and first-round co-leader Tom Jenkins (72).

Gil Morgan and defending champion D.A. Weibring were at 4-under after shooting 67s.

Reid is known as "Radar" because of his accuracy, but he isn't a long hitter off the tee. However, he was sensational on the four par-5s at the Tournament Club of Iowa, making birdie on three of them and an eagle on the other.

"I took advantage of them today and played the rest of the golf course well enough," Reid said.

So how often does he handle par 5s like that?

"It's rare," Reid conceded.

Reid got his eagle on 13 by knocking a 5-wood to 3 feet and then rolling in the putt to go to 6 under. He had to scramble a little for his final birdie, two-putting from the back of the green on 17.

"I thought if I could shoot a 67, I could move up," said Reid, who started the day four strokes off the lead. "I'm very happy with that score."

An overnight rain softened the course and the round began under thick, gray clouds and the threat of a thunderstorm. But no more rain fell and the clouds moved out, though the wind kept up throughout the day.

Gilder got so frustrated with his putting during an up-and-down first round -- five birdies, five bogeys -- that he changed his grip from cross-handed to a claw, in which a golfer turns his right hand down to guide the club.

He made an 8-footer for birdie the first time he putted Saturday and later had two 15-footers for birdie and a 12-footer. Just as satisfying, Gilder had only one bogey.

"My experience with cross-handed has been very up and down," he said. "It can change from one putt to the next. It can change from one hole to the next. It can change from one day to the next and I've never ever been very comfortable.

"So I went to the putting green last night and put the claw on it a little bit to see how it worked today."

So far, so good, though Gilder would have liked another chance at his birdie putt on 17. Looking at a 10-footer that would have given him a share of the lead at the time, Gilder left it a foot short.

"That was the worst putt of the day right there," he said. "I moved on the putt. It wasn't a nervous thing. I just hit it bad."

Hatalsky, who has seven top-10 finishes in his last eight tournaments, played a bogey-free round after a horrible finish on Friday -- a double-bogey on No. 18. He shook it off quickly, two-putting from 60 feet for a birdie on the first hole.

"You've got to clear your mind and not let those kind of things bother you," Hatalsky said "I talked with my wife last night and she just said, well, make some more birdies tomorrow."

A chip from the edge of the green set up a 4-foot birdie putt on 13 that dropped Hatalsky to 5 under and he saved himself with a par on 16 after leaving his 40-foot birdie putt about 10 feet short.

"Usually we can get them closer than that," he said.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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