The two sit at 9-under-par 135 through 36 holes, and lead by a shot over Jim Benepe and defending champion Fran Quinn, each of whom stormed into contention Friday with a pair of 65s over the Gainesville Country Club.
First round leader Sonny Skinner struggled Friday with a 1-over 72, and is tied with Larry Rinker and three others at 7-under, two off the pace.
Pappas, whose round of 66 consisted of seven birdies against two bogeys, is looking for the second win of his Buy.Com Tour career. Having started playing the tour in 1992, he finally broke through last season for his first victory at the Cleveland Open.
Interestingly, however, he was unable to record any other top-10 finishes in the 26 events he played. In fact, he either missed the cut or withdrew from 15 of those events.
Pampling is another searching for a name on this tour. In the 24 events in which he competed last year, he missed the cut 16 times.
After working on his game all summer, however, the native of Australia made waves overseas at the Johnnie Walker Classic in November, when he finished in a tie for fourth behind eventual winner Tiger Woods.
Perhaps the biggest noise of the day was the emergence of Quinn.
The Massachusetts resident and defending champion played a perfect round of golf Friday, carding six birdies against no bogies.
As did Pappas last year, Quinn was unable to record any other top-10 finishes after his season-opening victory at this very same event, and therefore was unable to make enough money to earn playing privileges on the 2001 PGA Tour.
So, while he is back in Gainesville this week and on the Buy.Com Tour for the duration of the year, he has Sunday to look forward to, as he turns 36 years-old. And now, his Friday score of 65 has put him into a prime position not only for a successful defense, but also a nice birthday surprise worth $76,500.
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