Tracy Hanson imagines herself being in the lead whenever she’s playing golf. This time, in fact, she was in front midway through the Nabisco Dinah Shore, the LPGA’s first major of the year.
Hanson, from Rathdrum, Idaho, fired her second 3-under-par 69 Friday to take a one-shot lead.
At 6-under, she edged ahead of 1995 player of the year Annika Sorenstam, Tracy Kerdyk and Rosie Jones.
The 24-year-old Hanson, a member of the NCAA title team at San Jose State four years ago, took the Dinah Shore lead by rolling in three birdie putts from around 30 feet.
Hanson, second to Pat Hurst for the tour’s rookie-of-the-year honor in 1995, started on the back nine Friday and overcame a double bogey on No. 14, where she hit her tee shot on the par-3 into the water.
Hanson, looking for her first tour win, said she tries to stay positive by using an unusual mental approach.
“I try to come into every tournament thinking I can win it,” she said. “I act like I’m winning the tournament from the get-go.
“I’m thinking of winning, not just making the cut. I just try to stay up, let the emotion and the crowd keep me excited, not think about the downside.”
With that in mind, Hanson liked the idea of being in the final group to tee off today. “It will be fun to be in the last group and have a crowd around,” she said.
Another unknown on top
Tommy Tolles, another in the fresh-faced baby brigade on the PGA Tour, has the lead halfway through The Players Championship and two other young pups - Justin Leonard and David Duval - are nipping at his heels.
Tolles, 29 and in only his second year on the tour, shot a 64 on Friday and was at 11-under-par 133 after 36 holes on the TPC Stadium Course at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., two strokes ahead of Leonard, 23, and Mark Calcavecchia.
Duval, 24, was three back, along with Haas, Zoeller and Kenny Perry.
Two share Seniors lead
Raymond Floyd and teaching pro Charlie Epps shot 66s to share the first-round lead in the $650,000 SBC Dominion Seniors golf tournament in San Antonio.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo
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