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Irwin, Smyth, Morgan share lead at Wal-Mart First Tee Open

9/2/2007 - Golf

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Hale Irwin shot a 7-under 65 on
Saturday for a share of the second-round lead with Des Smyth and
Gil Morgan in the Wal-Mart First Tee Open.

The 62-year-old Irwin, in position to become the third-oldest
winner in Champions Tour history, matched Smyth (64) and Morgan
(65) at 9-under 135. The three leaders played the Del Monte course
Saturday after opening at Pebble Beach.

"The competitive urge is still there and the desire to excel is
still there," said Irwin, the tour leader in victories (45) and
earnings ($30,260,086). "I have to admit that these kids who are
playing here are great to be with and they give you that extra
snap, that extra pace that is really helpful to show where you
started."

The three-time U.S. Open winner won the MasterCard Championship
in January.

Mike Fetchick was the oldest player to win a Champions Tour event,
taking the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational on his 63rd
birthday. Gary Player was the second-oldest, winning the 1998
Northville Long Island Classic at 62.

Smyth, who began the day trailing leaders Morris Hatalsky and
Bruce Vaughan by six strokes after an opening-round 71 at Pebble
Beach, had nine birdies, including seven en route to a final-nine
29.

"I wasn't too happy with my first nine holes. I was just 1
under at the turn, but I caught fire on the back nine," said
Smyth, who has three top-10s this season but hasn't won since his
two Champions Tour titles in 2005. "I've had some problems with my
swing this year, but my putter was red hot red today."

Irwin, who began the day five strokes back, had a
nine-birdie round.

Morgan, who lost in the record seven-man playoff last week in
the Boeing Classic outside Seattle, made 3-foot birdie putts on the
final two holes and had eight birdies.

Hatalsky (72), Lonnie Nielsen (69), Tom Watson (70) and Joe
Ozaki (65) were tied for second at 7 under.