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Men's golf: Curt Norman fires 72, holds 2 shot lead in men’s flight

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By The Staff

Heading into day two, the 2010 Los Alamos City Championship men’s title is still very much up for grabs.

The City tournament, which is being hosted by Los Alamos Golf Course, will start its second round at 8:30 a.m.

Heading into today’s play, four players are within five strokes of the lead, while day one leader Curt Norman will try to hold on to his two-shot lead over a pair of past City champions.

Norman, who has been near the top of the leaderboard at the City tournament each of the past three years but has never won the tournament, fired an even-par 72 Saturday, the only such round turned in for the entire field.

Heading into today’s second round, Norman has the advantage over a pair of past champions. Jason Norman, Curt’s brother and two-time defending champion, as well as 2009 fourth-place finisher Cale Jones are both sitting at 2-over par.

Two other players in the field, Vance Boone and Warren Finch, are five shots behind Curt Norman.

The course proved tough Saturday, as only seven of the 16 players in the championship flight broke 80 — Brad King and Ted Ball, at 79, were the others.

Norman helped his own cause Saturday by staying on or near the fairway for a good portion of his round. The rough in many spots on the course was deep and caused a good deal of problems for many of the players in the title flight.

For his part, Norman shot a 1-under on the front side.

His day didn’t start off particularly noteworthy. Norman actually bogeyed 17, the first hole he played, but came right back to birdie No. 1 and get that stroke back. Norman would then birdie No. 7, while his long birdie putt from the front edge of the ninth green would roll just short of the cup.

Following his birdie on 13, however, Norman would bogey both 14 and 15, which put him back to even par.

Jason Norman, who is looking to become just the third player to win three straight City titles, looked strong on the front side, firing a 1-under before the turn, but couldn’t keep his momentum going on the back, taking bogeys on No. 10 and No. 12.

Jason Norman would earn a 39 on the back to fall two shots off his brother’s pace.

Curt Norman, who was the 2009 runner-up, one shot back of his brother, also had the lead after day one a year ago.

Jones, a four-time winner at the City tournament, most recently in 2005, likewise was a shot under par on the front side, but was three shots over on the back side. Jones took a double-bogey on his first hole of the day, the 18th, but rebounded with birdies on the seventh and eighth holes.

All of the five top players shot better on the front than on the back Saturday, with both Boone and Finch picking up 38s going out and 39s coming in.

Finch, who had a remarkable run to the semifinals of the Atomic City Invitational earlier this month, recorded his only birdie of the day on No. 17, his second hole of the day. Boone finished the day with birdies on 17, his opening hole, and the eighth.