Carter Holds Clubhouse Lead

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GLEN ALLEN, Va. -- Tom Carter collected eight birdies and an eagle Thursday to grab the clubhouse lead in the weather-suspended opening round of the Buy.Com Richmond Open. He posted a 9-under-par 63 to lead Jason Buha by one stroke and Doug Garwood and Ben Curtis by two.
 
Thunderstorms forced the first round to be halted with 27 players still on the course. Play is scheduled to resume Friday at 7:30 a.m. ET.
 
Among the 27 yet to finish was James Driscoll, the runner-up in the 2000 U.S. Amateur. The 24-year-old University of Virginia graduate, who is playing on a sponsor's exemption this week, pulled alongside Carter with nine birdies through 15 holes. He birdied four of his last five holes before the storms rolled in.
 
A total of 128 players were at or under par at The Dominion Club, where the scoring conditions were almost perfect prior to the suspension.
 
'It starts from the tee shot,' said Carter, who hit 10 of 14 fairways Thursday. 'You have to get it in the fairway. It's a lot easier to be aggressive from the fairway.'
 
Although accuracy off the tee wasn't Carter's forte last year (he finished 114th in the category), the Temple University product certainly had no problem with length. He set the all-time Buy.Com Tour record for driving distance with an average of 312 yards per measured drive in 2001.
 
Carter's superior distance was quite evident on the par-5s in round one, as he went 5-under on the longest holes with three birdies and an eagle.
 
By contrast, Buha's bogey-free round featured birdies on all four par-3s.
 
'The putter was awesome,' said Buha, who took 27 strokes with the flat stick. 'I did not hit one bad putt all day today. I read the greens really well. I hit it where I wanted and it went right in the hole.'
 
Full-field scores from the Buy.Com Richmond Open