Frank Ford of Charleston continued his steady play and built a two-stroke lead heading into today's final round of the Senior Azalea Invitational at the Country Club of Charleston.

Ford, a six-time Azalea winner, recorded his second 69 Thursday and is at 4-under-par 138 in the tournament for amateur players 55 and older.

Dennis Helms (70) of Monroe, N.C., and Bill Leonard (68) of Kennesaw, Ga., are tied for second at 140. Brady Exber (73), the first-round co-leader, is at 142.

Ford birdied three of the four par-3s, including both on the back nine. He totaled four birdies against two bogeys.

Andy Wall (70) of Tyler, Texas, is at 141 to lead the Super Seniors (players 65 and older). Gary Strickfaden of Southern Pines, N.C., is second at 69--142, while Jon Verity of Beaufort, Tommy Ford of Mount Pleasant and Arnold Edwards of Charlotte are tied for third at 143.

It took a score of 152 to make the final-round cut in the Seniors division and a score of 155 to make the Super Seniors cut.

Play starts off both the first and 10th tees today at 8:30 a.m. with the leaders teeing off at 10:29 a.m.

SENIOR LEADERS

Frank Ford, Charleston, 69-69--138; Dennis Helms, Monroe, N.C., 70-70--140; Bill Leonard, Kennesaw, Ga., 72-68--140; Tom Humphrey, Okatie, 71-70--141; Mike Bodney, Jacksonville, 71-70--141; Brady Exber, Las Vegas, 69-73--142; John Long, Centreville, Va., 71-72--143; Buzz Peel, Delray Beach, Fla., 70-73--143; Ron Carter, Monticello, Ind., 73-70--143; Rich Bauch, Hartland, Wis., 73-70--143; Don Slater, Durham, N.C., 72-71--143; Frank Wrenn, Greenville, 70-73--143; Dick Anderson, Bluffton, 74-69--143; Mike Weiner, Manchester, Md., 70-74--144; Bob Vidricksen, Salina, Kan., 74-70--144; Dale Porter, Leland, N.C., 71-74--145; Bill Boles, Wilson, N.C., 72-73--145; Mark Baxter, Atlanta, 72-73--145; Marlin Detweiler, Akron, Pa., 73-72--145; Danny Daniels, Kingsland, Ga., 71-75--146; Ted Smith, Wilkinson, Ind., 72-74--146; Jim Anthony, Franklin, Ind., 73-73--146; Mike Rice, Houston, 71-75--146; Gary Kirwan, McKinney, Texas, 74-72--146; Bill Smunk, Kingstree, 73-73--146.

SUPER SENIOR LEADERS

Andy Wall, Tyler, Texas, 71-70--141; Gary Strickfaden, Southern Pines, N.C., 73-69--142; Jon Verity, Beaufort, 71-72--143; Tommy Ford, Mount Pleasant, 71-72--143; Arnold Edwards, Charlotte, 72-71--143; Phil Svanoe, Des Moines, Iowa, 74-70--144; Danny Dean, Charleston, 71-73--144; Gary Shimmin, Okatie, 71-73--144; Don Wood, Louisville, Ky., 71-74--145; Joe Pavoni, Prospect, Ky., 74-71--145; Benny Tumbleston, Meggett, 76-69--145.