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Saturday, April 1, 2006
Hatalsky takes one-shot lead at Blue Agave

Associated Press

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico -- Morris Hatalsky shot a 5-under-par 67 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Scott Simpson, Gil Morgan, Danny Edwards, Tom Purtzer and Massy Kuramoto after the second round of the Blue Agave Golf Classic.

Hatalsky, who won the last of his two Champions Tour titles in 2003, had a 7-under 137 total on the Vista Vallarta Golf Club course. Edwards and Kuramoto shot 65s, Purtzer had a 67, Morgan a 70 and Simpson a 71.

Hatalsky made a pair of 15-foot birdie putts on Nos. 7 and 8 and added an 8-footer on No. 9. A birdie on the par-4 13th got him to 9 under, but he hit a 7-iron into the water on the par-3 15th that led to a double bogey.

"I made a mental error on 15," said Hatalsky, 54, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour. "I wasn't committed to the shot that I needed to hit. I was kind of indecisive and came out of my swing."

Simpson, the first-round leader, birdied the second and fifth holes, but took a 6 on the par-4 seventh, hitting into a bunker before missing an 8-foot putt.

The 1987 U.S. Open champion holed a pitching wedge from 90 yards for an eagle on the 10th, and also birdied the 11th. He dropped back with bogeys with 14 and 17.

"I hit a bad chip on the 17th hole. I hit it way too hard and missed the putt there," Simpson said. "I didn't make many putts on the back nine."

The wind gusted between 10 and 20 mph in the afternoon.

"The later you tee off, the tougher it gets out there with the wind blowing," Simpson said.

Hatalsky, a San Diego native, was 17 when he joined a team of top junior golfers from Southern California and went to Mexico City, where he won the Mexico Junior Championship in 1968.

"I remember there was a lake on the left because they threw me in the lake when I won," Hatalsky said. "I didn't care, I won the golf tournament."

Mike Reid (69) was 5 under, and Hale Irwin (70) was another stroke back along with Eduardo Romero (69), Dan Pohl (71) and Allen Doyle (71), Mark Johnson (71), Dan Pohl (71) and David Eger (72). Doyle had a 36-hole bogey-free streak that stretched back to last week come to an end on the 15th.

The tournament marks the Champions Tour's sixth stop in Mexico, but first since the 2004 MasterCard Classic, played outside Mexico City.