Originally created 09/06/97

Hall takes one-stroke lead in Bank One Classic



LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Qualifier Walter Hall shot a 6-under-par 66 Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Bank One Classic.

Hall, who turned 50 on June 12, had five birdies on the front nine and finished the day by making a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th at Kearney Hill Links. It is just his third Senior PGA Tour event and ninth overall involving senior players.

Vicente Fernandez was a stroke back in second place, while Al Geiberger, Jay Sigel, Bunky Henry, Miller Barber and Frank Conner were tied at 68.

Hall recorded birdies on the first four holes, including a 10-foot putt on No. 1 and 12-footer on No. 2. The native of Clemmons, N.C., added a 20-foot birdie on the par-3 No. 8, and then put together nine straight pars before closing with the birdie on the final hole.

Fernandez' round included birdie putts of 3 feet on No. 14, 8 feet on Nos. 4 and 8, a 9-footer on No. 11 and 10-foot birdies on Nos. 5 and 18. He bogeyed the par-3 No. 15.

Sigel, who ranks third on the earnings list with $1.03 million, was 5-under after the front nine. But he parred the remaining holes, except for a bogey on No. 14.

Geiberger, Henry and Barber finished strong, with each getting three birdies on the back nine.

Twenty-eight other players finished under par, including defending champion Mike Hill at 69, in the $800,000 event. The winner receives $120,000.

This marks the final year for the Senior PGA Tour event in Lexington, which has been held since 1982. Tour officials announced in July that the tourney dates would be given to a larger city next year.