Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Westwood's Hartig Leads by 1 Stroke after 36 Holes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Westwood's Hartig Leads by 1 Stroke after 36 Holes

Article excerpt

The idea long held by many that every golf professional itches to play the PGA Tour just isn't so.

Take Daryl Hartig, 37, an assistant at Westwood Country Club who Monday shot a 36-hole total of 139 for a 1-stroke lead in the 54-hole Gateway PGA Pepsi Section Championship.

He's happiest when he can steal a few moments at home with his guitar. His family is more important to him than a gamble for a possible fling with fame on the Tour.

"I decided I didn't want to live my life out of a suitcase," he said. He's content to teach the game and to mind the store at Westwood.

This doesn't mean, though, that in so doing he puts his desire to win on a shelf in the back shop. He's a professional in part because "I love to play and I love to butt heads with other players. You see what you're made of."

He has that opportunity in Gateway events, some of which take on an aura of the U.S. Open. The prize money isn't the same, but the pride of the players is on the line.

The head-butting can get intense, as it did at Lake Forest Country Club Monday for the morning 18 holes when 13 players shot even-par or better.

Jeff Hunter, the tournament's defending champion, and Bob Nieberding were the leaders with 4-under 68s. Hartig fired a 71, then came back with a 68 - the top score in the afternoon - built on a 3-under 33 on the final nine.

In second place at 140 is Jim Knoesel, an assistant at Gustin Golf Club in Columbia, Mo. He opened with a 69 and shot 71 after the lunch break. Hunter shot 73 in the afternoon and is alone at 141. Nieberding shot 74 in the afternoon and is tied at 142 with Jerry Tucker, head pro at Bellerive.

Tucker's younger brother, Mike, 29, an associate pro at Bellerive, is at 144. Both Tuckers are paired with Nieberding in today's final 18 holes with a tee time of 9 a.m. on No. 1. Hartig, Knoesel and Hunter are in the day's last threesome on No. 1 at 9:09.

The prize money breakdown: First ($3,000), second ($2,200), third ($1,600), fourth ($1,300), fifth ($1,100).

This field is made up of club pros who for a variety of reasons have chosen to stay put rather than make the Tour a priority. …

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