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Loud and Clear Van Pelt Leads

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bo Van Pelt hardly would call himself a fashion plate.
'I'm pretty much a khaki and white shirt guy, pretty bland,' he said.
Yet that hardly describes his attire Friday at the Wachovia Championship. He stuck with the white shirt, but completed the ensemble with -- gasp! -- BRIGHT ORANGE PANTS.
Bo Van Pelt
Bo Van Pelt made a statement with his game and his attire Friday.
'I guess I felt the heat,' Van Pelt said. 'I put on these orange pants, and I felt like I really better play good or I was going to get made fun of. Maybe I ought to wear them more often.'
Something worked, that's for sure.
Van Pelt set the 36-hole tournament record, tying the course mark with a 64 Friday for a 10-under total of 134 at Quail Hollow. It was good for a three-shot lead over former U.S. Open champ Jim Furyk, with Davis Love III another stroke back.
Play was suspended for about 90 minutes during the afternoon because of thundershowers, then called off for good about 30 minutes after it resumed when more bad weather moved through.
Seventy-four players did not finish the round, although six players -- including John Daly -- didn't show up to finish the round, knowing they likely would miss the cut. Luke Donald also withdrew with a back injury.
The cut was at 2-over 146, and among those making it on the number was 52-year-old Jay Haas, who birdied three straight holes Saturday morning and finished with a par. His 23-year-old son, Bill Haas, completed a 72 and was six shots off the lead.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson dropped two shots in seven holes Saturday morning and was at 1-under 143.
Van Pelt matched the 64 shot by Kirk Triplett in the first round of the inaugural event in 2003.
'I was concentrating when I was out there, but it's always fun when you feel like you've got control over your golf ball,' said Van Pelt, still looking for his first career victory. 'You know, you feel like you can work it the way you want to work it. They rhythm with my putter felt really good, so that always helps.'
He finished off his round in style with a birdie on the 17th hole -- one of only nine birdies made Friday on the 217-yard par 3 with a peninsula green. With the pin to the far left -- only 15 feet from the water -- Van Pelt hit a 5-iron into 6 feet.
He added a sand save on the finishing hole to complete his round of nine birdies and one bogey.

'It's not the end all, be all, but obviously I want to win,' Van Pelt said. 'It would mean a lot.'
To do so, he needs to hold off a stellar field that includes eight of the 10 players in the world. Tiger Woods is missing, having already decided to skip the tournament for the first time in three years to be with his father, Earl, who died of cancer earlier in the week.
Furyk, who shared the first round lead with three other players, got to 9 under before some problems late, with bogeys at 16 and 17 spoiling his day a bit. He finished with a 69.
'Yeah, I'm disappointed,' Furyk said. 'I felt like in my mind I should have played those holes better. If those bogeys come at 4 and 13, you know, none of us would think twice about it. They just happened to come at 16 and 17.'
Defending champ Vijay Singh was five shots behind after a 68 to leave him at 5-under 139.
'The golf course is a driving golf course, so you drive the ball and you can give yourself chances at birdies, like I did,' said Singh, who beat Furyk and Sergio Garcia in a playoff last year. 'No matter which way you do it, you've got to put the ball in the fairway.'
Love didn't do that very well -- he found the short grass on only six of the 14 driving holes -- but he got away with it. He had three birdies to offset two bogeys on the front, then finished the back nine without another bogey to match his score of 69 from the first round.
Winless since 2003, when he won four times, Love is trying to put less pressure on himself these days.
'I think I've been trying too hard, obviously trying to win majors and trying to make Presidents Cup teams and Ryder Cup teams,' he said. 'I felt like the last two days, I went out and played and had fun and enjoyed myself, and got into playing golf.'

Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Wachovia Championship
  • Full Coverage - Wachovia Championship