Van Pelt Leads Beck Aces Par-4


OMAHA, Neb. -- Bo Van Pelt fired an 8-under-par 64 Thursday to take the first-round lead of the Omaha Classic at The Champions Club.
Chip Beck recorded the first ace on a par-4 hole in Nationwide Tour history Thursday. At the 315-yard ninth hole, Beck landed a driver 30 yards short of the hole and took a huge bounce before finally rolling into the hole.
'It was absolutely perfect,' said Beck, who posted a 4-under 68 on Thursday. 'I'll remember this shot forever. I actually thought about laying up because I remember from last year that it is quite a poke.'
Beck can put this achievement on his resume along with his four PGA Tour titles, three Ryder Cup appearances and he is one of three players in tour history to record a 59 in competition.
The ace on the par-4 was only the second on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour or Nationwide Tour. Andrew Magee aced the 17th hole in the first round of the 2001 Phoenix Open at the TPC of Scottsdale after his ball hit Tom Byrum's putter and rolled eight feet into the cup.
Ryan Palmer, Vaughn Taylor, Victor Schwamkrug, Todd Demsey, Scott Gutschewski, Omar Uresti, Jimmy Walker and Bob Heintz share second place after opening rounds of 7-under 65.
Van Pelt's round did not look like it would be a 64 with his start. At the first, he missed a six-foot par save but he rebounded with a up-and-down birdie at the par-5 second. Van Pelt holed a pair of five-footers for birdie at four and six and two-putted from 40 feet for birdie at the short ninth.
Van Pelt kept his strong play going on the back nine. At the par-5 10th, he played a 4-iron to three feet to set up eagle and reach 5-under for the championship. He birdied the 11th when he sank a 10-footer and added a 20-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
There was a small stumbling block for Van Pelt as he bogeyed the 15th but he closed with a two-putt birdie at 17 and a six-footer for birdie at the last to take the first-round lead.
'Obviously I'm very pleased with the number,' said Van Pelt. 'I'm real pleased with how I played. I started with a bogey which shows it's not how you start. I felt like my game was great coming in.'
Van Pelt has not won on the Nationwide Tour since his debut in the 2000 season. That does not concern the 28-year-old who thinks victory No. 1 could be around the corner.
'It's one of those deals where I keep putting myself in contention,' said Van Pelt, who has four top-10s in 2003. 'The win will take care of itself if I just keep playing well.'
Todd Rose, Steve Ford, Ryan Howison, Matt Seppanen, Fran Quinn and Sean Murphy are tied for 10th place at minus-6.
Jay Delsing, the defending champion, is tied for 35th place after carding an opening-round, 4-under-par 68.
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