Winning a slam still major hurdle for Love 1st-round leader has best chance since '96 Open

MAMARONECK, N.Y. — MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Davis Love III is no longer considered the best player in the world yet to win a major. It is a title he gladly relinquished a couple of years ago, but not because he had won one of golf's Grand Slam events.

"I'm just working hard to win one," Love said yesterday. "I've been close a couple times, let a couple of them slip away. I'd just like to have another chance. And I feel like after two days, being under par on this golf course, I've got a chance."


A very good chance. Despite a 1-over par 71 that included a double-bogey on the par-4 16th hole, Love finds himself only one shot behind second-round leader Lee Janzen at Winged Foot in the 79th PGA Championship.

The closest Love has come to winning a major was in last year's U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, where he bogeyed the last two holes to lose by a shot to Steve Jones. While Love has overcome a reputation earlier in his career for not playing well in majors, he has missed the cut in the PGA the past three years.


Love is also currently 10th on the Ryder Cup points list. He says he has been guaranteed a spot on the team by captain Tom Kite even if he doesn't qualify, Love would love to make it to Spain on merit.

"Shoot, Jeff Maggert's playing well and I'm playing well and that makes it a little bit more exciting," Love said.

Maggert, currently 11th on the points list, continues to stay in the hunt for both a spot on the Ryder Cup team and, more importantly, his first major championship. Maggert is currently three shots behind after two 69s.

We love New York

Put this in the category of "Welcome To New York." On Wednesday, Paul Azinger went with fellow PGA Tour pros Phil Blackmar and Mike Standly to a local park for a fly-casting lesson. They nearly wound up taking a lesson in how to get mugged.

Azinger said about five teen-agers began to follow them, then curse them and finally started throwing rocks at them. Well, not exactly rocks. "They start picking up asphalt," said Azinger. "Big chunks of the stuff."

Azinger, who survived cancer three years ago, was left a bit shaken by the incident.

"But then I thought about where I was and I thought this is probably normal," he said. "I've never been treated so disrespectfully by anybody in my life."


Pub Date: 8/16/97