Conley on Top in Virginia


TULSA, Okla. -- Tim Conley stands at 6-under par through 15 holes Thursday and is atop the first-round leaderboard at the wether-delayed Virginia Beach Open.
The start of the round was delayed 75 minutes due to inclement weather at the Tournament Players Club of Virginia Beach. The 33 players who need to complete their opening rounds will return to the course at 7:30 a.m. (et) Friday to do so.
Michael Long, the defending champion, completed his round at 5-under-par 67. He shares second place with former Virginia Tech standout Johnson Wagner.
Conley got going with a birdie at the par-4 second. He moved to 3 under with birdies on both front-nine par-5s, Nos. 5 and 8.
Around the turn, Conley kept rolling. He drained a birdie putt at the par-4 11th and came right back with a birdie at the par-5 12th.
After a pair of pars, Conley dropped in his sixth birdie at the par-4 15th to move to the top of the leaderboard just as play was halted for the night due to darkness.
Long is looking to do something that has never been done on the Nationwide Tour. No player has ever successfully defended his title in the 15-year history of the tour.
He opened with a birdie at the second. Long then ran off three straight birdies from the fifth to jump to minus-4 and a share of the lead at that point.
Long moved ahead of the field with a birdie at the par-four 10th. He climbed to minus-6 with a birdie on No. 13. However, Long stumbled to a three-putt bogey at par-four 18th to drop back to 5 under.
'I've been trying different things this week,' said Long. 'In the past, I haven't been too successful at defending a title. I guess I'm just trying to take it one shot at a time and see what happens. You do have good feelings about a course where you've done well, but a lot of time when I get feeling confident about a place I get way ahead of myself and before you know it, I'm out the back door.'
Wagner started his round on the back nine and birdied the par-5 12th to get going. After a pair of pars, the 24-year-old drained back-to-back birdies from the 15th.
Around the turn, Wagner moved to 4 under with a birdie at the par-4 fourth. He moved into a share of second place when he birdied the eighth.
Andrew McLardy and Kyle Thompson each posted rounds of 4-under-par 68.They share fourth place with Charley Hoffman and Dave Cunningham. Jake Reeves and Ron Whittaker also stand at minus-4 having played 16 and 15 holes, respectively.
Paul Gow and Tim Simpson pace a group of 12 players at minus-3.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Virginia Beach Open
  • Full Coverage - Virginia Beach Open