Posted July 14, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Lance Ten Broeck expected to make it to the weekend at the U.S. Senior Open. The full-time caddie and part-time player, though, didn't dream of being the second-round leader. Ten Broeck shot a 68 on Friday, putting him at 6-under 134 and one shot ahead of first-round leader Tom Kite. The 56-year-old Ten Broeck, who caddies for Tim Herron, finished tied for 71st at his only other Champions Tour event this year. He estimates he plays about 25 rounds a year. ''I guess that means I'm well rested,'' he joked. Ten Broeck got a chance to sleep in before starting the third round because he earned a spot in the final pairing. ''I knew I was playing pretty good in spite of having not really played much,'' he said. ''But I figured I should be able to make the cut, but I never figured that I'd be in the last group on Saturday.'' While many fans were likely stunned to see Ten Broeck atop the leaderboard, Kite insisted he wasn't shocked. Kite has known Ten Broeck since he was a standout golfer at Texas in the mid-1970s. The Chicagoan went on to play in 349 PGA Tour events, finishing a career-best second at the 1991 Chattanooga Classic in one of his 10 top-10 finishes. ''I played a bunch of golf with Lance when he was in Austin,'' Kite recalled. ''He's had so much talent for so many years, and to a lot of people's minds, didn't take advantage of all the talent that he has.'' If Ten Broeck can keep his lead at the U.S. Senior Open for two more days, he will more than double his highest annual income on a golf course. Ten Broeck has a chance to make about $500,000 on Sunday after earning less than half that total in his best year as a caddie and when he made a career-best $146,568 in 1989 as a PGA Tour player. ''Caddying is a lot easier than playing,'' he said. ''That's why you get paid more money to play.'' It won't be easy for Ten Broeck to cash in at the Champion Tour's fourth of five majors because he is only a shot ahead of Kite, who has been sensational on his front nines at Indianwood. Ten Broeck is also two strokes in front of a pack of six that includes Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Bernhard Langer. Ten Broeck has a 36-hole lead for the first time in his playing career. He had a share of the lead after two rounds at the PGA Tour's Hall of Fame classic in 1982 and he finished tied for 12th. Ten Broeck has been consistent thanks to a good tee-to-green game, shooting 34s on the front and back nines in the second round after carding 33s before and after the turn Thursday. Kite, meanwhile, took advantage of what is regarded as the easier nine - the front - with a U.S. Senior Open nine-hole record 28 in the first round. He stood up to the challenging back nine with a 31 on Friday. The combined 59 has offset a 4-over 39 on his second nine, during the second round, and a 37 after the turn on Thursday. He had a bogey at No. 4 on Friday, a day after making an eagle on the same hole, and a birdie at No. 17, a day after a double-bogey there trimmed his lead to a stroke. Kite's fourth bogey on his back nine at No. 9 dropped him into second place. ''It's a sadistic game,'' the 62-year-old Kite said. ''It drives us all crazy. As Harvey Penick said, `It's such an easy game to play, it's just such a hard game to play well.' In a championship like this, we're trying to play very well, and they've given us a stern test on a golf course that is very tricky. The greens are very severe in a number of places.'' The USGA set up a relatively short course to be a test for the best 50-and-older golfers in the world by letting the rough grow thick, and keeping the tight fairways dry and fast, making approach shots to quick, undulating greens difficult. It was tough enough to make the cut at 4-over 144, sending home notable players such as Hale Irwin (145) and Kenny Perry (149). Fred Couples (140) and Tom Watson (142) made it to the weekend, keeping fan favorites on a course that was filled Friday with people lining the ropes at the first significant golf tournament in southeast Michigan since Tiger Woods won the 2009 Buick Open. --- Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/larrylage
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