Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Farlow Grabs Share of Lead in Amateur

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Farlow Grabs Share of Lead in Amateur

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits, Times-Union sports writer

Sam Farlow doesn't think of himself as a trendsetter -- just a guy who wasn't afraid to use what worked for him, despite snickers and snide remarks.

Farlow, a Birmingham, Ala., resident and former University of Alabama golfer, eagled the par-5 sixth hole and went on to shoot 3-under-par 69 yesterday, earning a share of the lead in the first round of the 48th USGA Senior Amateur Championship, at the Timuquana Country Club.

Farlow, who played in the morning, is tied with Billy Clagett of Austin, Texas, who was 4 under through 12 holes and hung on in the late-afternoon heat. They have a two-shot lead over Gene Ryzewicz of Westport, Conn., Mills Rendell of Chicago and Mike Nixon of Nashville, Tenn., and a three-shot edge over five other players, led by 1972 U.S. Amateur champion and four-time Walker Cup team member Vinny Giles of Richmond, Va., and 2003 Walker Cup captain Robert Lewis of Pepper Pike, Ohio.

The top 64 after today's second round of stroke play will advance to the match-play phase of the tournament tomorrow. There are 70 players tied at 4 over or lower.

Farlow has achieved 19th-hole and locker-room fame throughout the nation for being one of the players responsible for the Lady Precept craze in the summer and fall of 2000.

The trend of men playing a soft-feeling, low-compression ball designed and constructed for female players was traced to Farlow's success with the ball in amateur events in Alabama, which in turn led to eight state amateur champions playing the Lady Precept, and numerous manufacturers designing low-compression balls for men.

Farlow, a four-time Alabama amateur champion, doesn't claim total credit. But he said he has never had a fear of what other people thought.

"I've heard it all," he said. "'Hey, you wearing a skirt today?' . . …

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