Christian Grabs Nationwide Lead

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2006 Miccosukee ChampionshipMIAMI, Fla. -- Gary Christian needs a big week this week to get into the Nationwide Tour Championship in two weeks. He currently occupies the 63rd spot on the money list, one place out of being in the field next week.
 
He got off to a great start on Thursday as he fired a seven-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead of the Miccosukee Championship at Miccosukee Golf and Country Club.
 
Kyle Thompson, Bryce Molder, Brian Henninger and Boo Weekley are knotted in second place at six-under-par 65.
 
Christian began on the back nine Thursday and tallied three pars to start. He birdied three in a row from the 13th and closed out his opening nine with a birdie at 18.
 
The Englishman, who is winless on the Nationwide Tour, continued his fine form on the second nine with a birdie at the first. Christian recorded birdies at six and eight to take the first-round lead.
 
'I played good the last round last week and shot 67, but to shoot 64 around here is pretty good so I was tickled pink,' admitted Christian. 'When you have those days, you just seem to have perfect yardages into every hole. I had that and holed a good amount of putts.'
 
Christian is one spot out of the Tour Championship and that would be his only shot at getting to the PGA TOUR next year. The top-20 after the event in two weeks graduate to the PGA TOUR, although that may not be one of Christian's goals.
 
'If I play good here, it achieves my main goal, which is to keep my card on this tour,' said Christian. 'The goal for the week is to play good and maybe I'll win the tournament. Maybe I won't. We'll just see what happens.'
 
Ken Duke, the Nationwide Tour's money leader, Scott Gutschewski, Tommy Tolles, Craig Kanada, Cliff Kresge and David Hearn are tied for sixth place at minus- five.
 
Jason Caron holds on to the 62nd spot on the Nationwide Tour money list and played well on Thursday. He posted a three-under-par 68 and is part of a group tied for 23rd place.
 
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