Gogel Sets Course Record for Lead


BETHESDA, Md. -- Matt Gogel fired an 8-under-par 63 on Thursday to establish a new course record at Congressional Country Club and lead after the suspended opening round of the Booz Allen Classic.
Matt Gogel
Matt Gogel had eight birdies and no bogeys in his Thursday 63.
Lee Westwood, Brett Wetterich and Fredrik Jacobson are knotted at 5-under- par 66. Kevin Stadler was at 5 under par through 14 holes before play was called for the day.
Thunderstorms arrived in the afternoon stopping play and the round was ultimately suspended for the day. Players will return to the course at 7:00 a.m. ET to resume the opening round.
Gogel started on the back nine of Congressional's Blue Course and parred his first five holes until his third shot stopped within 15 feet of the hole at the par-5 15th. Gogel drained the birdie try and hit an 8-iron inside 3 feet for a birdie at the par-4 16th.
The 34-year-old hit his tee shot to 8 feet for a birdie at the par-3 18th and converted a 12-foot putt for a birdie at the par-4 first. Gogel then ran off back-to-back birdies starting at the par-4 third and reached the green in two at the par-5 sixth.
Gogel two-putted for birdie to move to 7 under. At the par-4 eighth, he dropped a wedge within a foot of the hole and tapped in for birdie and his lowest round of the season on the PGA Tour.
'The course is in absolutely perfect shape,' said Gogel. 'The fairways are a little soft still so the balls aren't going to run through the fairway, and the greens are soft.'
Gogel finished 98th on the 2004 PGA Tour money list to secure his card for this season, but he has struggled so far in 2005 making only four of 13 cuts.
'I'm playing well, I'm just getting nothing out of it. Just nothing positive has gone my way,' said Gogel, who won at Pebble Beach in 2002. 'I never had to really even worry about the top 125 on the money list. Just to get off to a start this year where I was missing cuts, it's brutal on your confidence.'
Westwood also started on the back nine and struggled out of the gate with a bogey at the 10th. He countered with back-to-back birdies from the 12th and tallied a birdie at the 18th to make the turn at 2 under.
The Englishman continued his fine play with a birdie at the first, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the fourth. Westwood recovered well with three straight birdies starting at the fifth to finish within three of Gogel.
'I played very solidly,' Westwood said. 'Probably a couple of bad shots out there that, you know, nothing more than that, that's where I made my bogeys.'
Jacobson played the back side first and picked up a birdie and a bogey over his first nine holes. He caught fire on the front half with a birdie at the first and four consecutive birdies from the third for his 66.
Wetterich stumbled to a bogey at the third, but came back with three straight birdies starting at the par-4 fifth. He added a birdie at the ninth and collected a birdie at the 12th to move to 4 under. Wetterich then birdied the par-4 17th for his share of second.
Former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk finished at 4-under-par 67 along with Paul Goydos, Kevin Sutherland, Ben Crane, Michael Allen and Craig Perks. Vaughn Taylor stands at 4 under par through 17 holes.
Defending champion Adam Scott was one shot further back in a group at 3-under-par 68.
Ernie Els, who won the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional, completed 17 holes at 2 under par. Reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen finished at 1-under-par 70, while Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson followed at even-par 71.
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