Sauers And Hoch Tie For Lead At Kids Classic The Two Former Champions Shot 67s. It Helped To Work The Soft Terrain Early.

Posted: August 04, 1992

Two former champions headed the field after yesterday's first round of play in the fifth annual Tylenol Kids Classic at the Commonwealth National Country Club in Horsham.

Gene Sauers, the 1990 winner, and defending champion Scott Hoch both carded 4-under-par 67s to share the 1-stroke lead over four other players. Mike Reid, Duffy Waldorf, Mac O'Grady and Rocco Mediate all came in with 68s.

Chris Perry, Keith Clearwater and Gil Morgan all posted 69s going into today's final round on the par-71, 7,045-yard Commonwealth layout.

Big-hitting John Daly, the darling of the largest gallery roaming the course on the swampy afternoon, struggled home with a bogey-bogey finish and was in with a 74, despite an eagle on the par-4 third hole.

According to Hoch, the players who got out early yesterday had a big advantage. He said the greens were soft, and they had taken a beating as the large amateur field trudged home. Sauers was the third pro off in the morning, and he had a solid 33 front side with three birdies, although he did bogey the 387-yard, par-4 third hole. Sauers came home birdie-bogey-eagle, knocking in a 60-yard sand wedge for a 3 on the 521-yard, par-5 18th hole.

Hoch has battled left shoulder problems, and had surgery to repair cartilage earlier this season. He said he had felt fine until Sunday when the shoulder "felt different" after a shot at the 13th hole of the Greater Hartford Open.

He finished the round, but he wasn't sure how he would play at Commonwealth.

"I hit it all over the park the first nine holes today," Hoch said. "I think it's the worst I ever played where I ended up tied for something."

Mediate was the only golfer to get to 5-under par on the day. He birdied the par-4 14th after caressing a downhill eight-footer into the cup. But he left his tee shot out to the left on the par-3 15th, and then left his chip short, eventually bogeying the hole. After a par at 16, he drove behind a tree on the difficult 467-yard par-4 17th, chipped sideways to safety, and had to settle for another bogey before coming home with a par on 18.

"Naw, the bogey (at 15) didn't bother me; that's just golf," said Mediate. The 28-year-old pro from Greensburg, Pa., has had back problems for much of his career, forcing him to use an extended shaft, 49-inch putter. He had abandoned the putter this season, but brought it out for the Tylenol event.

"But my back feels fine. I just felt like changing putters," Mediate said. "As long as I do the things I should do for my back, it should be fine."

Local amateur star Jay Sigel and Edgemont-based pro Ed Dougherty, who is having a fine season on the PGA tour, finished the day with 3-over par 74s.

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