Originally created 02/14/98

Kendall fires 63 to lead in Hawaii



HONOLULU -- Another ideal day for golf, another day of major runs at the Hawaiian Open.

And on Friday, the second day of the $1.8 million event, it as one of the smallest players on the PGA Tour, Skip Kendall, who tore up the 7,012-yard Waialae Country Club course.

After an opening 5-under-par 67, the 5-foot-8, 140-pound Kendall, who has already banked $334,550 in winnings this year, checked in with a 9-under par 63 for a 36-hole total 130 and a one stroke lead over Tom Watson midway through the second round.

Watson, the winner of eight majors including five British Opens, started the day even with Kendall and had to rely on his improved putting to complete the round in 64.

Also among the early finishers, Olin Browne was alone at 11-under 133 after his 66. Grouped a stroke behind were Craig Stadler (65), Billy Ray Brown (65), Kenny Perry (67), Fulton Allem (68) and Duffy Waldorf (68).

R.W. Eaks matched Kendall's 9-under 63 and was at 135 with Glen Hnatiuk (64), Robert Gamez (67), Trevor Dodds (67), and Omar Uresti (70), with Greg Kraft (67), who had a hole-in-one on the 194-yard fourth hole, andn Kelly Gibson (68) at 136.

First round co-leaders John Huston and David Ogrin (63s) were among the late starters.

Like Thursday's opening round, playing conditions were ideal for low scores. Barely a trace of wind blew over the flat oceanside course.

SENIOR GTE CLASSIC:

Brian Barnes of Scotland had six birdies and an 9-under par 63 Friday for the best-ever first round of the Senior GTE Classic in Lutz, Fla.

Barnes, seeking his first Senior PGA Tour victory, was three strokes ahead of Jim Colbert, Bob Duval and Bob Eastwood, who were tied at six-under 66. Raymond Floyd and Bob Dickson were tied for fifth at five-under.

Barnes had five birdies on the front-nine and added a birdie and eagle at 13 and 14. His performance was two shots off Rocky Thompson's 18-hole tournament record of 61 set during the third round in 1994.

LOS ANGELES LPGA:

Hiromi Kobayashi of Japan birdied six of her first eight holes in shooting a 5-under-par 67 Friday for a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Los Angeles Women's Championship in Glendale, Calif.

Tied for second place with scores of 70 at the 6,276-yard, par 36-36 -- 72 Oakmont Country Club course were four players in search of their first LPGA victory -- Australian Wendy Doolan, Alicia Dibos, Karen Weiss and qualifier Janice Moodie -- along with veteran Elaine Crosby.

Kobayashi, 30th on the money-winning list last year with $261,814 and playing in her first tournament in nearly three months, had a 30 on the back nine, which she played first.

SOUTH AFRICAN PGA:

Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe had a three-stroke lead after his second round of the rain-troubled South African PGA Championship on Friday.

An 8-under-par 64 in the second round gave Johnstone had a 132 total, 12-under par.

Only about half the field, though, had completed the second round because of rain delays both Thursday and Friday.

Three strokes behind Johnstone was American Scott Dunlap, who had a 66 in the second round. South African Ernie Els was another three strokes off the pace at 138 following his second straight 69.