AIKEN -- Michael Carlisle is leading the Aiken Golf Classic, but he's still chasing Terry Ezell.
With a victory at the Palmetto Golf Club today, Carlisle will tie Ezell for the most career Cadillac Cup victories with seven.
Ezell normally plays in the Aiken Golf Classic, but he's already in Lemont, Ill., preparing for the U.S. Amateur, which begins Monday.
Carlisle, the 39-year-old University of South Carolina-Aiken golf coach, is two shots clear of the 83-player Aiken Golf Classic field after rounds of 70-69. Keith Murphy of Charleston, S.C., who had a six-birdie 71 on Saturday, is second.
Aiken's Daran Womack, who had the low round of the tournament on Saturday, a 66, is five back, along with Canadian Julian James (68 on Saturday).
First-round leader Chip Cochran went from 68 to 79 and is at 147, eight shots back.
Ezell, a former North Augustan who moved to Rock Hill, S.C., two years ago, in June won the Persimmon Hill Classic in Saluda, S.C., for Cadillac Cup victory No. 7. This is Ezell's first Cadillac Cup event of the year.
"I saw Terry on the putting green at the Carolinas Amateur after that," Carlisle said. "I went up behind him and hit him on the back of the head and said `way to go, old star,"' Carlisle said. "He laughed and said, `I'm one up on you boy, you better get your clubs out and start playing."'
In addition to being the USC-Aiken golf coach, Carlisle also is executive director of the Augusta Area Junior Golf Association. This is his first Cadillac Cup event in nearly two years.
"What little bit of time I do have, it seems to fall when I can get in some bigger national tournaments," said Carlisle, who tied for ninth in the recent Cardinal Amateur, a major amateur event.
Before Ezell won at Persimmon Hill this year, Carlisle and Ezell had been tied for the most career Cadillac Cup victories since Ezell's win in the 1995 Golf Capital Invitational.
"I'd love to call Terry up this week and say `you better get your clubs out, you're tied again,"' Carlisle said. "This is fun. It's just a little something extra."
Before Carlisle can place that call, he'll have to win the Aiken Golf Classic for a second time. His first title came in 1983.
"There are a lot of good players here, plenty as good as me," Carlisle said. "They can get on a stretch of holes like I did on the last 12 holes Saturday and smoke a good score."
Indeed, Carlisle went on a tear after playing his first six holes in three- over-par. He then birdied Nos. 7 and 8, parred 9 and eagled 10, a par-5. Throw in another birdie on 14 and that meant Carlisle played his final 12 holes in five-under-par.
"I stayed patient and didn't get mad at myself," Carlisle said. "I was trying to keep on hitting good shots and get some momentum going and that's what I did."
Carlisle made a miraculous par on the par-4 18th hole after hitting his drive in the right rough. From a bare lie, Carlisle hit his second shot thin. It ended up in the back bunker. From there, Carlisle blasted out to 5 feet and made the putt for par.
"I'll challenge anybody in the universe with the same chromosomes as me to make a par from where I was at," Carlisle said.
Michael Carlisle 70-69- 139
Keith Murphy 70-71- 141
Daran Womack 78-66- 144
Julian James 76-68- 144
Bob Stringer 74-72- 146
Alex Hamilton 74-72- 146
Anthony Scott 77-70- 147
Phil Frazier 74-73- 147
Walter Todd 72-75- 147
Chip Cochran 68-79- 147
148- John Blackwell (77-71), Jimmy Hamilton (74-74), Jason Gabriel (74-74). 149- Mike Benham (77-72), Doug Hathaway (75-74), Eric Miller (75-74), Jordan Byrd (73-76), Chris Eassy (73-76), Bobby Hathaway (73-76). 150- Russ Padgett (78-72), Tommy Addison Jr. (76-74), Mark Stillwell (75-75), Bill Duncan (75-75), Joe Hendrick (75-75), Mark Burden (75-75), Debo Kelly (73-77), Tommy Addison III (72-78), Kenny Wiland (69-81). 151- Charlie Busbee (77-74), Tommy Carpenter (77-74), Dale Overcash (74-77), Justin Livonius (73-78). 152- Brock Ehler (76-76), Matt Gardner (76-76), David Reece (74-78), Tim Ryan (73-79). 153- Buck Leigh (76-77), Stewart Moore (75-78). 154- Chad Meldrum (81-73), Peter Melvin (79-75), Brennen King (78-76), Gene Spencer (78-76), Chris Dwyer (77-77), Lance Jones (76-78), John Darr (75-79). 155- Al Fortney (80-75), Aaron Rygas (80-75), Berry Crain (78-77), Peter Milner (74-81). 156- Sean Thornton (77-79), Dale Haas (76-80), John Cuomo (76-80), Jim White (74-82). 157- Matt Harbin (81-76), Colin Gordy (80-77), Gil Happel (80-77), Mo York (78-79), Avery Zeigler (74-83). 158- Matt Hendrix (83-75), David League (83-75), Alan Boyer (78-80), Brian Webb (77-81). 159- Kyle Bradley (76-83), Mike Wiland (73-86). 160- Ed Payne (82-78), Bill Hardy (80-80), Jimmy Miles (77-83).
162- Dial McAlister (82-80), Cliff McKinney (81-81), Rob Heilig (76-86), Cliff Hicks (75-87).
163- Kevin Wheeler (84-79), James Kile (82-81), George Coker (81-82), Neely Boggs (80-83), Tom Wyatt (80-83).
165- John Gibbs III (84-81), Brian Cunning (82-83).
170- Steve Chapman (80-90).
171- Mac McLendon (87-84).
174- Allen Hancock (87-87).
Sunday's starting times
7:30 a.m.- S. Chapman, A. Hancock, M. McLendon.
7:38- B. Cunning, J. Gibbs III, T. Wyatt.
7:46- N. Boggs, G. Coker, J. Kile.
7:54- R. Heilig, C. Hicks, K. Wheeler.
8:02- D. McAlister, C. McKinney, J. Miles.
8:10- B. Hardy, E. Payne, M. Wiland.
8:18- A. Boyer, K. Bradley, B. Webb.
8:26- M. Hendrix, D. League, A. Ziegler.
8:34- C. Gordy, G. Happel, M. York.
8:42- J. Cuomo, M. Harbin, J. White.
8:50- D. Haas, P. Milner, S. Thornton.
8:58- B. Crain, A. Fortney, A. Rygas.
9:06- J. Darr, C. Dwyer, L. Jones.
9:22- B. King, P. Melvin, G. Spencer.
9:30- B. Leigh, C. Meldrum, S. Moore.
9:38- M. Gardner, D. Reece, T. Ryan.
9:46- B. Ehler, J. Livonius, D. Overcash.
9:54- C. Busbee, T. Carpenter, K. Wiland.
10:02- T. Addison III, M. Burden, D. Kelly.
10:10- B. Duncan, J. Hendrick, M. Stillwell.
10:18- T. Addison Jr., B. Hathaway, R. Padgett.
10:26- J. Byrd, C. Eassy, E. Miller.
10:34- M. Benham, J. Gabriel, D. Hathaway.
10:42- J. Blackwell, C. Cochran, J. Hamilton.
10:50- P. Frazier, A. Scott, W. Todd.
10:58- A. Hamilton, J. James, B. Stringer.
11:06- D. Womack, K. Murphy, M. Carlisle.
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