Loren Roberts is making his first start at the Bank of America Championship.
Stan Badz/PGA TOUR/Getty Images
Sunday, June 22, 2008

CONCORD, Mass. (AP) — The Boss of the Moss was at a loss.

Loren Roberts had just three-putted from 30 feet for a double bogey on the ninth hole at the Bank of America Championship on Saturday. His goal for No. 10: Don't let the uncharacteristic shakiness destroy his whole round.

"I came back and birdied 10, so I am really proud of myself," Roberts said after shooting a second-day 66 to take a one-stroke lead heading into the final round. "I guess I got all of the bad ones out on one hole."

Roberts birdied the 18th to move to 10 under, one stroke ahead of Mark McNulty (70), Jeff Sluman (67) and first-round leader Tom Kite (72). Bobby Wadkins (67) was another stroke back at 8 under on the 6,741-yard, par-72 Nashawtuc Country Club course.

Roberts has won seven times in his 3 1/2 years on the Champions Tour but has never played in this tournament, even though he's had some success in the area. He won the 1997 CVS Charity Classic in Sutton, before the PGA Tour dropped the event.

"It's the same type of grass," said Roberts, known as "The Boss of the Moss" for his putting prowess but also knows his way around the various strains, like the poa annua common in New England. "Not sure why I didn't come here the first few years. ... I really like the grass. It's really good turf. It's fun to play."

Roberts couldn't have had more fun than on the first five holes, when he followed a pair of birdies on the third and fourth holes with an eagle on the 517-yard fifth hole, knocking his drive in the rough but recovering to 6 feet. He was 9 under with a birdie on the eighth hole before the double bogey on the ninth dropped him from the lead.

"You just hate to make a 6 on a par 5. To make a 7 just makes you sick," Roberts said. "But you never want to compound one error with another."

On No. 10, a 538-yard par 5, he pitched to 2 feet. He reached the par-5 18th in two and two-putted from 25 feet to drop to 10 under.

Kite tied the tournament record with a 63 on Friday and was the only other golfer to make it to 10 under during the second round. But he bogeyed No. 17 before finishing with a birdie.

Kite, who lost a chance to win here in 2001 when his tee shot on No. 17 hit a bird and fell into a pond, had five bogeys and five birdies on Saturday.

"It's hard to shoot back-to-back 63s," he said before heading to the practice tees to work on his swing. "The good thing about it is that you can come back with a poor round and still win the tournament."

Boston Celtics co-owner and Nashawtuc member Steve Pagliuca performed the ceremonial first drive in the morning, standing on the tee with a half-dozen tour players and the NBA championship trophy. Fans lined up throughout the day for a chance to pose with the Larry O'Brien Trophy, which the Celtics won Tuesday night for their 17th NBA title. More than $1,000 was collected in donations for the chance to pose with the trophy.

Divots: Craig Stadler, who won the event in 2004, withdrew after his round because of a sore left hip. He shot a 73 on Saturday and was 5 over for the tournament after bogeys on the 17th and 18th holes. ... Keith Fergus shot a 66 to match Roberts for the day's low round and move from T36 to T6, three strokes back at 7 under. ... Gary Player matched his age for the 12th time on the Champions Tour, shooting an even-par 72. He has beaten his age nine times.

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