Two Tied As Play Suspended at Gila River


Ben Crane and Bo Van Pelt each fired rounds of 8-under 63 to share the lead during the first round of the suspended Buy.Com Gila River Golf Classic. Darkness prompted officials to suspend the round at 9:00 p.m. (ET) with 20 golfers still on the course. They will return Friday morning to complete the first round.
Andrew Morse and Roger Tambellini share third place at minus-7.
Crane opened on the back nine at Whirlwind Golf Club and broke into red figures for the first time at the par-3 14th. He roped a 7-iron at the 172-yard hole to 12 feet to set up birdie and three holes later he ran home a 25-foot eagle to make the turn at 3-under.
At one, Crane rolled in a 10-foot birdie and made it two in a row with a six-foot birdie at No. 2. He parred the third but once again collected back-to-back birdies at four and five. Crane took sole possession of first place at the par-4 8th when his drive found the front edge of the green where he chipped close and tapped in for birdie.
'I played great,' said Crane, who missed only one green in regulation on Thursday. 'The course has no defense right now. The greens are perfect. I have never seen Bermuda greens so true and fast.'
Van Pelt eagled the par-five third hole when his four-iron landed four feet from the stick. He gave one back at the next hole when he missed an eight-foot par save.
Van Pelt closed the front nine with four consecutive birdies for a front-nine in 5-under.
He made three birdies in his first six hole on the back and then converted a pair of 15-foot par saves at 16 and 18 to preserve his 63.
'I played solid and gave myself a lot of birdie tries,' said Van Pelt, who needed only 24 putts to make his way around the Whirlwind Golf Club. 'The key is to play well and the results will take care of themselves.'
Jeff Sanday, Vance Veazey, Michael Long, Bud Still, Jason Caron, Kevin Pendley, John Wilson and Bob Gaus are knotted in fifth at minus-6.
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