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When the lead in the Texas Open slipped out of Justin Leonard's hands Friday, the 1997 British Open champion headed straight to the driving range.

Leonard was tied with Loren Roberts at 9 under with three holes to play, but double-bogeyed the 16th and finished with a 2-under-par 68 to drop a stroke behind.

"I'm going to work on it right now," Leonard said just after walking off the La Cantera Golf Club course.

Roberts held onto the lead he shared the first day with Leonard and two others, shooting a 67 for a 9-under 131 total.

Len Mattiace also had a 67 to join Leonard at 132 heading into today's third round (3 p.m., ESPN). Blaine McCallister, Mike Standly, Frank Lickliter, Paul Goydos and Jerry Kelly followed at 7 under.

Leonard had two bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He birdied Nos. 11, 14 and 15 before running into trouble.

After hitting his drive near a tree, he had to hit a backhand shot and managed to send it only 10 feet.

"I was in deep rough, just trying to brush it underneath the tree and run it up on the green, and clipped the tree," he said. "I was in the front cut of rough, in a divot from 77 yards and I hit a good wedge shot about 12 feet, and didn't hit a very good putt."

The former University of Texas star rebounded with a birdie on the next hole.

"I had some good shots at times, but a few too many misses today," said Leonard, who finished second in the Texas Open in 1995 and 1998.

Roberts made birdie putts of 18, 15 and 12 feet. "I had some really makable opportunities," said Roberts, considered the best putter in the world.

Pepper, 14-year-old tied

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Dottie Pepper, playing in her first tournament since July, and 14-year-old Aree Wongluekiet shot 3-under-par 69s in windy conditions to share the lead in the LPGA Safeway Golf Championship.

Pepper, who was stung by a bee on the seventh hole and took medicine to ward off an allergic reaction, withdrew from the U.S. Women's Open in July because of back problems.

Wongluekiet, the Thai star who lives in Bradenton, Fla., used her final exemption of the year to play in the tournament. She tied for 10th in the Nabisco Championship in March.

South Korea's Mi Hyun Kim was second after a 70 on the Columbia-Edgewater Country Club course. Aree's twin sister, Naree, shot a 7-over 79.

The tournament is the last chance for players to earn points for the U.S. Solheim Cup team, which will face the Europeans next month in Scotland.

Around the greens

Bill Brask shot an 8-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead in the Bank One Senior Championship in Dallas. He holds a one-shot advantage over Kermit Zarley going into today's second round (5 p.m., ESPN).

Five Buffalo area golfers are within six strokes of the lead after Friday's first round of the New York State Mid-Amateur Championship at the Bellevue Country Club in Syracuse. John Gaffney (Brookfield CC), Tim Hume (Park Club) and Doug Stein (Glen Oaks GC) each shot 74 and finished the day tied for fourth place behind leader Bill Moore, who shot a 1-under 70 on his home course. Other top scores include: Kevin Barnett (Park) 75, Mike McNulty (Transit Valley) 76, Karl Maeder (Holland Hills) 77 and Jay Stellrecht (Lancaster) 77.

Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, troubled by a sore hip since the U.S. Open, will have the same hip surgery as Greg Norman and miss at least the next six weeks.

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