Langham takes lead heading into third round

Updated: April 25, 2003, 10:51 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Franklin Langham shot a 2-under-par 68 Friday and took a one-shot lead heading into the third round of the $475,000 Rheem Classic.

Langham's 7-under 133 total is one better than Mike Sullivan and Rick Price in the Nationwide Tour stop at Hardscrabble Country Club.

Sullivan shot a 67 Friday, and Price came in at 66. Six golfers are locked up in fourth place at 5-under, two back from the leader.

The cut came in at 2-over-par 142, and 71 players advanced to play Saturday.

Langham said he struggled to make good shots, but managed to pull out a solid round.

"It was one of those wacky days. I felt like it was feast or famine," Langham said. "You either pull the right club or you don't. I never got into a rhythm today. I hit one shot really good and then hit one ugly."

Golfers played in winds that were between 10 mph and 20 mph and in temperatures that hovered around 60 degrees.

"It was cold out there," said Langham, who carded seven birdies, six pars and five bogeys on his day. "Two-under is a good round today, no matter how I did it."

Langham, a member of the PGA Tour six of the past seven seasons, gave a shot or two back to the field early, thanks to a bogey at the 500-yard, par-5, 3rd hole.

Langham hit a 3-iron on the green and two-putted for a bogey. "If there was such a thing as a good bogey that was it," he said. "You just keep plugging along. You never know when the good holes are going to come. You don't want to psyche yourself out before you get a chance to have some good things happen."

Langham turned the tide when he made a shot on the seventh from the bunker for a birdie.

"I needed it at that time," he said.

Langham, who missed as many greens in regulation as he hit, made just one par on his final nine. He finished by rolling in a 35-foot birdie putt to take over the lead.

"As long as you're making birdies to offset those bogeys it's OK," he said. "It's a little frustrating, sure. When I was finished I knew it was kind of up-and-down but I wasn't really keeping score. While you're out there, you're just playing the game. You add 'em up at the end."

At the end of the day, Price was one of the few from the afternoon wave to make any significant moves up the leaderboard. He closed his day with six straight pars to join the 48-year old Sullivan in second place.

Scott Petersen led after Thursday's play with a 64. He shot a 75 Friday to fall six shots off the lead.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press