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Former appliance distributor leading Canada Senior Open

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Walter Hall, a former sales manager for a North Carolina appliance distributor, shot a 3-under-par 69 Saturday for a three-stroke lead in the $1.1 million AT&T Canada Senior Open.

Hall completed 54 holes at 10-under-par 206, three better than Tom Jenkins and Brian Barnes, who shared the 36-hole lead, and Bruce Summerhays, who had a piece of the opening-day lead.Barnes and Jenkins each shot 73s and Summerhays had a 71 over the 6,942-yard Glencoe Golf & Coun-try Club course.

Bobby Stroble, with a 71, was at 6-under 210, Dana Quigley shot 69 for 211 and Larry Laoretti had a 73 for 212.

Hall's round was highlighted by birdies on Nos. 3, 5, 14 and 16. His only bogey came at No. 9.

"I've had a real 8-to-5 job most of my adult life and so when I turned pro and have a chance to even play with these great guys . . . I'm sort of the guy out here walking on cloud nine."

"If I play well tomorrow, someone's got to play better to beat me," he said. "I've never had a lead going into the last round of a Senior PGA Tour event. It'll be a new experience for me."

Barnes said he'd "rather be in the position I'm in than Walter. I have nothing to lose and Walter has got to keep it all together. It's easier coming from my position than holding onto it. I've won two or three times from the front, but if you don't watch it you can very easily become negative."

Barnes said the danger comes when a leader starts playing for par.

"If you let the guys come to you, then once you start that sort of game it's easy to start making bogeys," Barnes said.

Hall, 51, from Clemmons, N.C., joined the tour last year after making four unsuccessful attempts in the 1970s to qualify for the PGA Tour. He regained his amateur status in 1980, which he kept until 1994, when he began a bid to make the senior tour.

Hall played in 1994-95 in Asia before returning to play in the United States in 1996 on various secondary tours.

He was a conditional member of the senior tour in 1997, appearing in eight events and winning $161,000. His best finish was a third-place tie in the Bank One Classic.

LPGA FRIENDLY'S CLASSIC: At Agawam, Mass., Amy Fruhwirth stormed from behind with birdies on the last three holes Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the weather-delayed LPGA Friendly's Classic.

Fruhwirth, a six-year pro looking for her first victory on the LPGA tour, shot a 4-under-par 68 for an 8-under 208 through 54 holes.

Fruhwirth prospered as the 36-hole leaders had bad days. Marilyn Lovander, who had a one-shot lead after two rounds, struggled to a 74. She fell back to 211 with Heather Daly-Donofrio, who opened the round only a stroke off the lead but shot a 73. Christy Erb, who was tied with Daly-Donofrio after Friday's round, had an even worse day, plummeting seven strokes off the lead after a 77.

Brandie Burton, whose 67 was the best round of the day, grabbed a share of second at 211 along with Kim Saiki (68), Chris Johnson (70) and Pamela Kometani (70).

"I don't ever watch the leaderboard; that makes me too nervous," said Fruhwirth, a 29-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., resident. "I just try to play my own game.

"I'm putting pretty great right now; everything is going in," she said. "Putting is really the common denominator. You have to putt in order to score well."

Fruhwirth had only 25 putts during a Saturday round marred by two long rain delays.

Burton, one of the first to complete the third round, had six birdies and one bogey.