July 31, 2009

Amateur leads U.S. Senior Open

Amateur Tim Jackson continued his surprising play Friday by firing a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead midway through the U.S. Senior Open at Carmel, Ind.

Until this tournament, no amateur had ever shot a score lower than 68 in an event that draws the best over-50 golfers in the world. Jackson has produced the best two rounds ever by an amateur in the Senior Open. He shot a 66 Thursday and his 11-under 133 total equaled a 36-hole tournament record.

These last two days have been the best for me, said Jackson, who is trying to become the first amateur winner in Senior Open history. Just having my son caddying and the family here, it's been very special, regardless of what happens the rest of the week.

Jackson, a real estate developer, has twice won the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and has competed in the Masters.

Joey Sindelar shot a 68 at the Crooked Stick Golf Club course to stand alone in second at 134 while Fred Funk was at 135 following a 67.

Greg Norman, who took the lead into the final round of the Senior British Open last week, was in fourth place by himself with a 136 total. Dan Forsman was next at 137 and a stroke further back were Tom Lehman, Robin Freeman and Bruce Vaughn, winner of last year's Senior British Open.

Tom Watson, playing through an illness and admittedly drained by his near victory at the British Open two weeks ago, was at 143 -- tied for 26th place.