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Pavin Rides Front-Nine 26 to Lead

US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE -- Corey Pavin, the 1995 U.S. Open winner, established a new PGA TOUR record on Thursday when posted a front-nine, 8-under-par 26 in the first round of the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
'I've never done anything like that before,' said Pavin, who finished with a course-record-tying, 9-under-par 61. 'It was pretty exciting for me. It was amazing.'
Corey Pavin
Corey Pavin got off to a great start, but only made one birdie over his final nine holes.
The former nine-hole record of 27 was first established by Mike Souchak in the first round of the 1955 Texas Open. Two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North matched the number on the back nine of the first round of the 1975 B.C. Open. Billy Mayfair next tied the score on the back nine of the final round of the 2001 Buick Open and Robert Gamez was the last to shoot 27 when he did it during the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
The round was suspended at close to 6:00 p.m. ET Thursday as heavy rain forced a weather delay of nearly four hours. The first round will resume at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning.
Less than half of the field completed their first rounds with several players yet to tee off.
Pavin started quickly, to say the least.
He rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt at the first, then kicked in a short birdie putt at two that was less than a foot from the hole. Pavin hit a 7-iron to 3 feet to set up birdie at the par-3 third, then made it four in a row when he drained another long putt, this time from 38 feet at the fourth.
At the fifth, Pavin hit a 6-iron to 30 feet and converted that long birdie putt. He collected his sixth birdie in a row at the par-5 sixth when he wedged his third to 4 feet.
Things fell apart after that. At the par-3 seventh, Pavin had a look at birdie, but could not hole the putt.
'I kind of messed up seven, didn't I?' joked Pavin.
Pavin did not let the par bother him as he knocked a 7-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the eighth. He closed the front nine with another birdie, this one from 8 feet.
Pavin not only set the new PGA TOUR record, but he only took 10 putts to do it.
Things cooled off considerably for Pavin on the back nine. He didn't have nearly as many good looks at birdie, but at the 16th Pavin hit a wedge to 8 feet and sank the birdie putt.
Pavin was now 9 under par and two birdies in the final two holes would get him to golf's magical number of 59.
He hit a poor drive at 17, but made par. Needing an eagle on the par-5 18th for a sub-60 round, Pavin drove into the rough and had 269 yards to the flag. He could not get home in two and had to hole a 5-footer to save par.
Pavin did, matching Steve Lowery's course record from 1999.
'I wasn't thinking too much about the outcome,' acknowledged Pavin. 'I knew 59 was a possibility and I tried to keep those voices away. I was just trying to hit each shot the best I could.'
Arjun Atwal carded a solid round of 6-under-par 64 and is alone in second place.
Skip Kendall and Cameron Beckman are knotted in third place at 5-under-par 65. David Frost is 5 under through 17 holes
Scott Gump, Garrett Willis, Frank Lickliter and Dean Wilson all posted 4-under-par 66s on Thursday. Billy Andrade, Chris Riley and John Riegger are 4 under par on the course at Brown Deer Park Golf Club.
Defending champion Ben Crane parred his first hole before the horn sounded.
Related Links:
  • Pavin's Scorecard
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee
  • TV Airtimes - U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee