PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Brooke Pancake’s fans are a hungry bunch.
She hears it.
“Scattered, smothered and covered!”
That’s the Waffle House order her husband/caddie, Derek Rende, hears the most when they’re making their way around the golf course together. Really, he hears orders for half the menu when he’s toting her bag.
She did, by the way, recently make news signing as a Pancake, inking a sponsorship deal with Waffle House. She carries the company’s logo on her bag and makes appearances at Waffle Houses in cities where she plays. While there are no Waffle Houses in the Bahamas, the folks here know the menu.
“All-Star Combo ... Papa Joe’s Pork Chops & Eggs ... Texas Biscuits & Gravy.”
They’ve heard them all.
“It’s hilarious,” Pancake said.
They also heard a lot of cheers and applause Thursday at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic. With a 6-under 67, Pancake is the leader in the clubhouse of the rain-suspended first round at the Ocean Club Golf Course. She’s one shot ahead of Inbee Park, Brittany Lincicome and Natalie Gulbis.
With rain halting play in the afternoon, 60 players are scheduled to return to the course at 8 a.m. Friday to finish their rounds.
Pancake took advantage of calm morning conditions with a sizzling start. She made birdies on six of her first seven holes and then scrambled brilliantly when heavy winds hit late in the morning. She hit just nine greens overall but kept getting up and down for par. She needed only 20 putts on her round.
“I gave myself a lot of birdie looks early and really took advantage of those,” she said.
Pancake played bogey-free even when hitting greens was tough on her second nine.
“I definitely have a lot of trust and confidence in my short game right now,” she said.
Pancake, beginning her third full season on the tour, is looking for her first top-10 finish in an LPGA event and her first title. She joked that she’s already a winner this week: she’s up $20 gambling in the Casino at the Atlantis.
“Gambled for the first time in my life,” she said.
What did she win her money playing?
“Penny slots,” she answered. “Big spender.”
She’s looking to get into position to play some high-stakes golf come Sunday’s finish of the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.