Originally created 06/13/05

Quigley, Morgan tied for lead in suspended Champions Tour event



OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Gil Morgan and Dana Quigley, the leaders in the clubhouse when rain suspended play, will have to wait until Monday afternoon to find out whether they'll meet in a sudden-death playoff for the Champions Tour's Bayer Advantage Classic title.

When the storm system that has plagued the tournament all week forced the suspension of play Sunday, three players were still on the course within three strokes of the leaders.

Play was delayed three times on Sunday and was scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. EDT, weather permitting, with 36 pros still on the course. Forty had finished when the unrelenting rains once again pummeled the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate.

The tournament was shortened to 36 holes when rain washed out Saturday's round.

Morgan, with an early tee time, shot a 5-under 68 on Sunday and Quigley came in a short time later with a 66, tying him with Morgan at 11-under 133.

When play was halted, Rodger Davis was 8 under for the tournament through nine holes, Dan Pohl was 8 under through 11 and hometown favorite Tom Watson, after reeling off two straight birdies just ahead of the rain, was 8 under through six.

"I think Tom has a chance to win," said Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course and was playing with Watson. "He's playing very well."

Nicklaus, playing in the pro-am with son Steve, was 3 under through six holes for the day and 2 under for the tournament while drawing a huge gallery.

Morgan, whose 65 on Friday gave him a share of the lead with R.W. Eaks, had 12 birdies during the two rounds and one three-putt bogey on the par-4 seventh on Sunday.

Quigley barely missed a 7-foot birdie putt on No. 18. As it slid off the left side of the cup, he dropped to his knees.

"I hit the putt too solid. It just went through the break just a little bit," said Quigley, who won this tournament in 2000 and is having his best year on the Champion's Tour with one win and seven top-10 finishes.

"I'm even starting to believe I can win every week," he said. "I have not ever been in this frame of mine as far as golf is concerned. I believe these guys have got to beat me now."

Nicklaus, who has been paired with Watson, said he would stick around for Monday's play despite a schedule full of meetings.

"That's part of the deal. I guess I'm not used to playing golf tournaments anymore," he said. "I make meetings on Mondays."

Disputing earlier reports, Nicklaus has made it clear this week that the Bayer Advantage Classic may not be his last tournament on U.S. soil. He said on Thursday that he might prefer that his last round be at the Memorial, which he hosts every year in Dublin, Ohio.

He also dismissed the importance of the Champion's Tour event, insisting that his only reason for coming was to play with his son, Steve, in the three-day pro-am.

Nevertheless, people in the large gallery trooping along with him and Watson sensed they could be watching a special moment in golf.

"This is historic, really - it's very exciting," said Roger Hoskins of Kansas City, straining to get as close as possible to the gallery ropes.

"How many people can say they saw Babe Ruth play his last baseball game? In my opinion, Jack's the greatest golfer who ever lived."

It's the third time in four years that Kansas City's Champions Tour event has been shortened to 36 holes by rain. This year's problems began on Wednesday night when a wind storm uprooted trees near the course and blew down the large tent which had been set up for the media, destroying computers, TVs, copy machines and tables.

"People in Kansas City have tried very diligently to put on a Champion's Tour event," said Morgan. "They've been cursed by the weather."

The title sponsor, Bayer Advantage, has not given the Champions Tour a decision on whether it will pick up its option for three more years.

"The golf course, for as much rain as they got, held up pretty well," Morgan said. "It was pretty wet out there in some places, a lot of casual water. But the greens were excellent."



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