Conover:RW Eaks broke one tournament record and tied another Saturday to take a three-stroke lead over Canada's Rod Spittle after the second round of the Greater Hickory Classic.
Eaks ended a long day at Rock Barn Golf and Spa with a second-round 66 for a 15-under 129
total, shattering the event record by three strokes and finishing one shot shy of the Champions
Tour's best 36-hole score this season.
Eaks, whose first Champions Tour win came at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in July, tied the
tournament record with an 9-under 63 earlier Saturday to finish the rain-delayed opening round.
"Two days ago, I wasn't sure if I was going to play," said Eaks, who was forced to withdraw from
last week's event at Pebble Beach, Calif, after spraining his right knee. "But I'm pretty speechless
right now. Other than No 17, it was a pretty flawless day for me. My putts just started going in,
and I got on a roll."
Eaks had a double bogey at 17.
Spittle, a journeyman pro making just his 13th start in three years on the 50-and-over tour, was 12
under after rounds of 68 and 64, a career best.
The opening round was suspended Friday after the remnants of Hurricane Humberto dumped
more than 3 inches of rain on Rock Barn's Jones course. Only 54 of 78 players had teed off
Friday when play was called, with Spittle the leader at 3 under through five holes.
In all, nine players are within eight strokes of Eaks. Following Spittle was Scott Simpson (69) at 10
under, and DW Weibring (66) and Champions Tour leader Jay Haas (65) at 9 under. Dana
Quigley (66), Tim Conley (71), Bob Gilder (71), Gil Morgan (71) and David Edwards (67) were 7
Eaks nearly got his first career Champions Tour victory at last year's tournament, shooting a
final-round 65 to force a playoff with eventual winner Andy Bean.