Saturday, 29 May 2004
England’s Mark James moved into contention in the weather hit US Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky.

The former European Ryder Cup captain completed his first round on Friday with a brace of birdies to shoot a two under par 69, which placed him two shots behind leaders Tom Watson and Hale Irwin from the United States. James, who started his first round on the tenth, closed with birdies on the sixth, seventh, and eighth.

The Englishman, who is making his debut in the Championship, was then able to play seven holes of his second round before darkness fell at 8.45 pm ET (1.45 am GMT) and picked up another birdie on the fifth to go to three under for the tournament. He is three strokes behind American Wayne Levi, who has completed 11 holes of his second round. Watson and Irwin were due to start their second round on Saturday morning.

James is one of 17 members of the European Seniors Tour competing in what is the 65th edition of the Championship.

The spill over of the second round into the third day of play was caused by a lightning delay on Thursday followed by heavy overnight rain which delayed the start on Friday.
Officials are hoping to complete the third round on Saturday.

Ireland’s Des Smyth finished his first round on Friday and carded a 70, to make a good start to the tournament where he led after three rounds last year before finishing equal fifth. However, he got off to a poor start in the second round later in the day when he double bogeyed the first and bogeyed the fifth. He has seven more holes of his second round to go on Saturday and is two over for the championship.

South African Gavan Levenson, winner of this year’s DGM Barbados Open on the Seniors Tour, is in exactly the same position as Smyth.

Ireland’s Mark McNulty, like Watson and Irwin, has had to endure a long wait before his second round. He returned a 70 on Thursday but will only be able to start his next round on Saturday.

Scotland’s Sam Torrance is making a fight back after firing an opening round 76. He played nine holes on Friday in three under par to get back to three over for the tournament.

Seniors Tour Order of Merit leader Terry Gale from Australia and England’s Carl Mason, last year’s Merit list winner, are due to start their second rounds on Saturday. They opened with round of 75 and 77 respectively.

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