Two Share Day 1 Lead in Louisiana


SHREVEPORT, LA -- David Morland IV and Emlyn Aubrey shot matching rounds of 8-under-par 64 Thursday to share the opening-round lead of the Buy.Com Tour's Southern Open at Southern Trace Country Club.
Ben Bates, John Morse and Steven Alker are knotted in third place after rounds of 7-under 65. Darron Stiles, Dicky Pride and former PGA Tour player Chip Beck are tied for sixth at minus-6.
This is the last regular-season event on the 2002 schedule as next week is the Buy.Com Tour Championship. That event is opened only to the top-55 on the money list after Sunday's completion of the Southern Open.
Morland, who competed in 20 events on the PGA Tour this year, started on the back nine Thursday at Southern Trace. He pitched in for eagle at the par-5 10th to get his round off to an ideal start.
'This is the first time my fiance has caddied for me and I eagled the first hole,' said Morland.
Morland birdied three additional holes on his first nine to make the turn at 5-under 31.
He ran home an eight-foot birdie putt at the second but ran into trouble on No. 3. Morland missed the green with a 6-iron and failed to convert the eight-foot par save.
Morland rebounded with three birdies over his final five holes, all from inside 10 feet, to post his lowest round in 2002.
'I hit the ball really well all day and made some putts,' said Morland. 'I was able to take advantage of the par-5s. I'm just happy to start well. Sunday is when it will count.'
Aubrey broke out early with three birdies in his first four holes. He drained a five-foot birdie putt at the eighth to make the turn at 4-under-par 32.
Aubrey collected two birdies in his first three holes on the back nine. He sank a seven-footer for birdie at No. 15 and chipped his third shot to a foot to set up birdie at 17 and polish off his 64.
'It was one of those days where everything went right,' said Aubrey, who resides in Louisiana. 'I've been playing well coming into this tournament. Even my mistakes turned out good.'
David Branshaw, last week's Gila River Classic winner, shot a 5-under 67 and is part of a large group tied for ninth.
Full-field scores from the Southern Open