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Eight-way tie at Nationwide Tour lid-lifter

PANAMA CITY, Panama ' Former champion Vance Veazey shot a 3-under 67 on Thursday and was among eight co-leaders after the first round of the Nationwide Tour's 2009 season-opener.
Veazey, the 2005 winner, shared first place at the Panama Championship with Kevin Johnson, Jim Herman, Andrew Buckle, Omar Uresti, Clodomiro Carranza, Rafael Gomez and Skip Kendall.
They held a one-shot lead over nine players who were tied at 2-under 68 ' Chris Anderson, Tom Byrum, Esteban Toledo, Sebastian Fernandez, Michael Sim, Dicky Pride, Chris Smith, Garrett Osborn and Camilo Benedetti
Tripp Isenhour, the 2006 champion, led a group of 16 players knotted at one- under 69.
Overall, there were 75 players within five shots of the co-leaders on a very tight leaderboard.
The eight co-leaders made just 12 bogeys between them, with Veazey and Gomez responsible for six of them.
Veazey ' who beat four players for his '05 title, including PGA Tour star Camilo Villegas ' was 1-under par after a bogey at the 10th hole. But he made three birdies over the next four holes to take the lead by himself.
A bogey at the 16th, his third of the round, dropped him into the 3-under logjam.
Gomez also lost a chance for sole possession of the lead with a bogey at his 17th hole, No. 8 at Panama Golf Club. He recovered with a birdie at his last hole.
Among the co-leaders, only Kendall finished the day without a bogey. He made two birdies before the turn, then another at his 13th hole.
Johnson, Herman, Buckle and Uresti made one bogey apiece on the way to their 67s, while Carranza had five birdies and two bogeys.
Defending champion Scott Dunlap, looking to become the first Nationwide Tour player to win the same tournament two years in a row, didn't have a good start. He shot a six-over 76 and was tied for 116th place in a field of 132.
Thursday marked the beginning of the Nationwide Tour's 20th season.

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