Hes off to a good start.
Pampling hit every fairway and had 15 points under the tournaments modified Stableford scoring system, leading Geoff Ogilvy, Jose Coceres and Chris DiMarco by a point before rain forced half the field to complete the first round early Friday.
This time of the year, I dont know what the reason is, I just dont seem to play as well, Pampling said.
But he took advantage of soft conditions in the morning, with four birdies on the front nine and another on the 15th. He capped the round with a 20-foot putt for eagle on No. 17, a huge swing in a tournament that rewards aggressive play.
Players receive 8 points for a double eagle, 5 for an eagle, 2 for a birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for a bogey and minus-3 for a double bogey or worse.
Pampling was one of the lucky ones who got to play in the morning.
Heavy rain and lightning moved through the area in the afternoon, forcing 72 players to return Friday morning.
Stephen Leaney, who finished with 12 points, and DiMarco had the best rounds of the players who returned. Jay Haas was two behind Leaney, overcoming bogeys on two of his first three holes with six birdies.
Leaney had four birdies holed out from the fairway for an eagle on No. 9, his final hole of the first round. DiMarco had six points through eight holes before play was stopped Thursday, then added four birdies on the front nine to complete his round.
The second round started shortly after the first was completed, but players with afternoon tee times might have a hard time finishing before dark. The last groups were scheduled to go off at 4:20 local time and more storms were in the forecast for the afternoon.
This isnt really the easiest course to have to have to walk, DiMarco said. Basically, you just have to. Its going to be a very long day.
Ogilvy had a great round going on Thursday, but ended up muttering to himself as he walked off the ninth green.
He was in the lead after holing out a wedge on the 462-yard third hole for one of his two eagles. But he bogeyed his last hole after pulling out the wrong club and going long.
I am more annoyed by the ninth because I seem to do that every time I play that hole, said Ogilvy, who finished eighth last year. I dont know what it is about that hole.
Coceres got off to a great start, with birdies on three of his first four holes. He followed with another birdie at the par-4 15th and hit a 3-iron to 12 feet for an eagle on No. 17 to tie the tournament back-nine record with 13 points.
My irons I play very good and my driver I play very good, hit fairways, said Coceres, who punctuated his round with an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 9. Its different from the normal.
Tom Lehman and Jose Maria Olazabal had 11 points, though they took different routes getting there.
Lehman bogeyed his third hole after starting on No. 10, then had six birdies over the final 15 holes. Olazabal started his round with a birdie on No. 10 and had five more'three straight starting at the 17th'for a solid start after finishing 12th last week at the Buick Open.
Last week was a good week for me and today was a good round for me, said Olazabal, the 1991 International champion. I have to keep building on that.
Defending champion Davis Love III had 19 points in the first round and 17 more in the second to win going away last year. He wasnt near that record pace, but was within seven points of the lead after opening his round with two birdies.
You always need one really good day and today was just my average day, Love said.
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