Stadler Leads Closing in on Promotion

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2006 Palmetto Pride ClassicCHARLESTON, S.C. -- Kevin Stadler fired a 6-under 66 on Friday to move into the lead during the suspended second round of the PalmettoPride Classic. He stands at 7-under-par 137 and is one ahead of Craig Bowden at the Daniel Island Club.
 
The second round was suspended due to darkness, but a 90-minute weather delay at the start of the first round Thursday pushed the tournament out of schedule.
 
The 33 remaining golfers come back at 8:00 a.m. ET Saturday morning. The plan is to complete the second round, make the 36-hole cut, then send the players out in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees starting at 10:00 a.m.
 
Bowden overcame a triple-bogey at the 10th hole thanks to a mistake by his caddy. He finished with his second consecutive 3-under 69 and is alone in second at minus-6.
 
Roland Thatcher (71), Nationwide Tour money leader Johnson Wagner (69), Brendon de Jonge (69), John Merrick (69) and first-round co-leader Craig Lile (73) are knotted in third place at 5-under-par 139.
 
Tom Johnson, Jarrod Lyle and Michael Sim are all 5 under par, but have yet to complete their second rounds.
 
Stadler began on the back nine Friday and broke into red figures with a birdie at the par-5 11th. He added birdies at the 14th and 17th holes to make the turn at 3-under 33.
 
On the second nine, Stadler reached 5 under par for the championship with a birdie at the second. He recorded birdies at the par-5 sixth and the par-4 eighth to move into the lead.
 
'I hit it fairly well,' said Stadler, who won this year's Xerox Classic and Boise Open. 'I only had to chip once and it's usually a pretty good score when that happens.'
 
With his two victories, Stadler ranks seventh on the Nationwide Tour money list and is virtually assured a spot on the PGA TOUR next year for finishing inside the top-20.
 
But it meant a lot for Stadler to play well this week, because he has not played well lately. After his win in Boise, Stadler missed the cut in his last two starts.
 
'I really didn't know what to expect,' acknowledged Stadler. 'I wasn't hitting it very good coming in. Thankfully, it's kind of like a light switch for me. It's either good or bad.'
 
Bowden was cruising along with three birdies on his front nine. When he reached the par-4 10th, Bowden was in the same bunker as playing partner Steve LeBrun. After LeBrun hit his shot, Bowden's caddie raked the area where LeBrun hit which constituted a penalty as testing the area before he played the shot.
 
Two strokes was the penalty and Bowden fell all the way down to 3 under par for the tournament. He tallied birdies at 12, 13 and 15 to move into second.
 
'I'd rather him learn that here as opposed to going out on the regular tour and costing me the U.S. Open or something,' said Bowden, who is second on the money list and also going to the PGA TOUR in 2007. 'We took it on the chin as a team right there.'
 
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