Originally created 08/21/05

Defending champ has six-shot lead in Reno



RENO, Nev. - Defending champion Vaughn Taylor, of Augusta, opened a six-stroke lead in the Reno-Tahoe Open on Saturday, birdieing four of his first five holes en route to 8-under-par 64 and a tournament-record 21-under 195 total.

Taylor, who opened with 64 and 67 to set the 36-hole record, shattered the 54-hole mark Jerry Kelly set in 2001 and moved into position to break the 72-hole record of 17 under set by Kirk Triplett in 2003.

"A six-shot lead is definitely a lot. I'm just going to go out there tomorrow and keep to my game plan and just play golf," said the 29-year-old Taylor, who claimed his only PGA Tour victory as a rookie last year at Reno. "Hopefully it will help a lot having been in the situation before. You get more comfortable each time."

Taylor, averaging 303 yards per drive this week on the 7,472-yard Montreux Golf and Country Club course, had eight birdies Saturday to bring his total to 24. He made his lone bogey in the past two days on his last hole the second round Friday.

Todd Fischer, playing in his hometown, was second at 15 under after 69. He birdied the last five holes to overcome three early bogeys. Jesper Parnevik was another stroke back after chipping in from 40 feet for eagle on the par-5 17th and posting 67.

Taylor started the day at 13 under, one stroke ahead of Fischer and four ahead of Parnevik, Kaye and Jacobson. Taylor's sharp iron play set up six birdie putts from within 5 feet - one from 7 inches on the par-5 fourth hole and one from 3 inches on the par-5 11th. The other two birdies were from about 9 feet.

"I was swinging really well on the front nine. I was hitting it really close to the hole and was feeling it," Taylor said. "I can't remember a tournament tapping in and knocking in 2- or 3-footers for birdie as often as I have here. That's always nice."