Snedeker Leads Early in Texas

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2005 Permian Basin Charity Golf ClassicMIDLAND, Texas -- Brandt Snedeker posted a 6-under-par 66 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Permian Basin Charity Golf Classic.
 
Craig Bowden, the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic winner, shares second place with Tim O'Neal at minus-5. Dan Buchner and Scott Ford are one stroke further back at 4-under-par 68 at Midland Country Club.
 
Snedeker, who won the Scholarship America Showdown earlier this year, opened with a birdie on the par-5 second. He also birdied the par-5 fourth, then came right back with a birdie on five.
 
The 25-year-old kept rolling as he birdied the seventh and ninth to make the turn at 5 under par.
 
Snedeker drained a birdie effort on the par-5 12th to move into the lead. He got to minus-7 as he converted a birdie try on the par-4 14th. However, Snedeker bogeyed the 16th to slip to 6 under. He parred the final two holes to remain there.
 
'I hit the ball well and obviously putted well,' Snedeker admitted. 'I made all of the 5-footers today except that one on No. 16. I made it easy on myself. I didn't put myself in any bad positions.'
 
Despite missing four weeks with a broken collarbone, Snedeker is in decent position to earn his PGA TOUR card for next year.
 
'Things are getting better,' said Snedeker, who is currently 16th on the money list. 'I'm still a little sore and I still ice it at night. But I don't have any apprehension doing anything with a golf club.'
 
Bowden played the back nine first and was hot early. He collected birdies on 10, 12 and 13 to quickly move to minus-3.
 
The three-time winner on the Nationwide Tour birdied the 15th, then parred his next six holes. Bowden notched his final birdie at the fourth.
 
O'Neal was steady on the front nine with birdies on four and seven. He drained back-to-back birdie putts from the 11th. O'Neal got to 5 under with a birdie on the par-4 14th.
 
The 33-year-old faltered to a bogey on the par-3 16th, but quickly recovered that stroke with a birdie on 17. O'Neal parred the last to share second.
 
Matt Weibring and Matt Kuchar each carded rounds of 3-under-par 69 Thursday. They were joined in seventh place by Kevin Johnson, Craig Lile, Rick Price, Jim Rutledge, Paul Claxton and Gavin Coles. Eight more players are one stroke back at minus-2.
 
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