Wadkins Has Brother's Support in the Bag

Saturday, August 26th 2006, 10:57 am
By: News On 6

ALOHA, Ore. (AP) _ Bobby Wadkins has spent his career as a touring professional in the shadow of his older brother. Yet Lanny Wadkins, the 1977 PGA Champion, has always been his brother's biggest fan.

``Every time I play well, the first person who calls is him,'' Bobby Wadkins said Friday after shooting a second straight 67 to lead by three strokes at the Tradition. ``I'm sure he'll call tonight.''

Wadkins, who never won on the PGA Tour, birdied three of the last four holes to get to 10 under in the last major of the season on the Champions Tour. He's won twice this season, and is gunning for another major to go with his win at the Senior Players Championship in July.

``It's two more days and I've had leads before and lost them, and I've come from behind. But I damn sure wouldn't want to trade with anyone else,'' he said.

Lonnie Nielson sits alone in second place at 7 under after shooting a 68 on the Par-72, 7,150-yard course at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.

Wadkins shared the lead after the first round with Wayne Levi and defending champion Loren Roberts.

Levi faded after shooting 75. Roberts shot 71 to finish in a five-way tie for third.

Oregon native Peter Jacobsen, who shot a 72 on Thursday, withdrew before his round Friday because of pain in his deteriorating left hip.

Roberts entered The Tradition, the final major of the Champions Tour season, with four wins and the lead in Charles Schwab Cup points. He was supposed to be paired with Jacobsen, but played alone after Jacobsen withdrew.

Roberts missed a par putt from 2 1/2 feet on the first hole.

``After that I couldn't get anything going,'' he said.

Tom Jenkins shot a 68 to move to 6 under with Roberts, Tom Purtzer, Keith Fergus and last week's winner, Tom Kite.

Jacobsen, whose event management company runs the Tradition, has suffered from hip and knee problems for the past few years and might need hip replacement surgery.

``It's getting worse,'' the 52-year-old player said. ``It's getting to where it's affecting my temper on the course. I'm beginning to think I can't win because I'm concerned on the course about how my hip feels. It's kind of affecting my overall outlook, and that's not good.''

Wadkins says his confidence is sky high after he shot four straight competitive rounds of 67 or better.

Last week at the Boeing Seattle Classic, Wadkins shot 64 and 65 in his last two rounds en route to a ninth-place finish.

Now a CBS analyst, Lanny Wadkins won 21 times on the PGA Tour. Bobby Wadkins said his phone calls always come with a healthy dose of older-brotherly advice.

``Now I just need to hide from Lanny,'' he joked. ``If I cut off the phones I should be fine.''