Bowden Warren Lead in Pennsylvania


MOOSIC, Penn. -- Craig Bowden fired a 7-under-par 64 to grab a share of the lead at the Buy.Com Northeast Pennsylvania Classic Thursday. Bowden was joined atop the leaderboard by Charles Warren as the duo established a new course record.
Scott Gump and Doug Garwood are tied for third at 6-under-par 65.
Bowden, a veteran on the Buy.Com Tour, posted his best round so far in what has been difficult start to the 2002 season. The 33-year-old has made only three of eight cuts this year.
Bowden got off to a quick start at Glenmaura National Golf Club with back-to-back birdies from the first. He added another pair of birdies from the fifth before running into trouble with a bogey at the ninth to make the turn at minus-3.
He regained the shot with a birdie at No. 12 and ran home two straight birdies from the 13th to reach minus-6. At the 18th, Bowden hit a sand-wedge within 30-feet of the cup and rolled home the birdie putt to match his best round on the Buy.Com Tour and a new 18-hole course record.
'I played good today, but I could have shot a couple more strokes under par,' said Bowden. 'To be honest it was an easy 7-under because it could have been really low.'
Warren has already visited the winner's circle this year. The 26-year-old earned a four-shot victory at the Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs for his first win on tour.
He parred the first five holes before back-to-back birdies from the sixth. Warren collected five more birdies on the back nine to complete a flawless round and match the course record set before by Bowden.
'The key to a tough week like this is to take advantage of your early tee time one of the first two mornings,' said Warren. 'I played a good, solid round on a very tough golf course.'
Chris Tidland, Gene Sauers and Joe Daley each carded rounds of 5-under 66 to finish to shots off the pace.
Tjaart van der Walt, Todd Barranger, Erik Compton and Anthony Painter are all knotted at 4-under 67.
Full-field scores from the NE Pennsylvania Classic