Thompson leads entering second round of Kinko's Classic

May 5, 2007 - 3:07 PM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Leonard Thompson's dramatic turnaround has him in the lead entering Saturday's second round of the FedEx Kinko's Classic.

The 60-year-old is the leader at the $1.6 million event after recording an eagle and six birdies to finish with an 8-under-par 64 in Friday's first round.

Last year's opening-round effort at the The Hills Country Club was forgettable for Thompson, who shot a 7-over-par 79. He finished the event tied for 70th at plus-14.

Thompson posted three birdies on the front nine and three more after the turn, before capping his day with an eagle on the par-5 18th.

A three-time Champions Tour winner with his last triumph in 2001, Thompson has finished no higher than 39th in eight events this year and ranks 62nd.

Massy Kuramoto and Loren Roberts each shot a 66 and are two strokes off the lead at the three-round event.

A native of Japan, Kuramoto had a chance to grab a share of the lead but double-bogeyed the ninth hole at the conclusion of his round. The par-4 ninth here annually ranks among the most difficult on the Champions Tour with an average score of 4.498.

Roberts played consistently with six birdies and no bogeys on the 6,965-yard par-72 course.

Joe Ozaki, Tim Simpson and Scott Hoch each shot 5-under to finish three strokes off the pace.

Ozaki birdied seven of nine holes between the sixth and 14th, but bogeyed the third, fifth and 16th.

Jay Haas, who won the event in 2006, is seven stokes behind Thompson after posting a 71. The tour's current money leader managed just two birdies and bogeyed the 17th.

If recent history is any indicator, Haas won't be making a run at back-to-back titles. In 2004, Hale Irwin tied for 40th after winning the inaugural event. In 2005, Larry Nelson tied for 25th in defense of his crown. Last year, Jim Thorpe tied for 21st after winning in 2005.

This year's winner will receive $240,000.






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