Friday, August 6, 2004

Pampling in lead as rain halts International play



The Associated Press

CASTLE PINES, Colo. - Afternoon thunderstorms always seem to be a problem at The International, but with the PGA Championship a week away, they're an even bigger deal this year.

Rain and lightning swept through Castle Pines Golf Club Thursday afternoon, halting play.

Rod Pampling led the 72 players who completed the round, scoring 15 points in the tournament's modified Stableford system with five birdies and an eagle.

"At the moment, my swing feels really nice," Pampling said.

Geoff Ogilvy and Jose Coceres were a point behind in the format that awards players 8 points for a double eagle, 5 for an eagle, 2 for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse.

The rest of the field will finish their first rounds early today, with the second round to follow.

But with more storms in the forecast, it could be a scramble to finish by Sunday. Spilling over into Monday for the first time in tournament history could present a problem, because many of the players might want to hustle to Wisconsin to prepare for next weekend's PGA at Whistling Straits.

"There's nothing you can do about it, obviously," said Chris DiMarco, who had six points through eight holes before the storms hit.

JAMIE FARR CLASSIC: Teeing off just hours after a 13-hour flight from London, Karen Stupples had seven birdies in a 6-under-par 65 Thursday for a one-stroke lead after the first round at Sylvania, Ohio.

Still caught up in the excitement of winning the Women's British Open on Sunday, Stupples picked up where she left off.

"The way I played last week gave me a lot of confidence in how I managed myself around the golf course," Stupples said.

U.S. Open winner Meg Mallon had a run of three straight birdies and then birdied three of four in another stretch in a round of 66 that left her tied with defending champion Se Ri Pak.

Pak is trying for a record-tying fifth victory in the tournament. Only Mickey Wright has won an LPGA event five times - the Sea Island Open in 1957-58, 1960-61 and 1963.

"Funny, but I have been struggling with my game the last couple of weeks. I haven't been happy with much at all," said Pak. "But as soon as I landed here, for some reason I felt very comfortable."

HP OPEN: Amateur Louise Stahle, a 19-year-old headed for Arizona State in two weeks, stole the spotlight from LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam by shooting a bogey-free 5-under 67 for the first-round lead at Stockholm, Sweden. Sorenstam was tied for third after shooting a 70 on the long Ullna course.

OHIO PUBLINX: Blake Sattler shot and 3-under par 69 to take a four-stroke lead after the third round at Howard, Ohio.

Sattler of New Philadelphia is at 205 and Columbus' Josh Anderson is second at 209 after shooting 70 Thursday on the par-72, 6,946-yard Apple Valley Golf Course.

KENTUCKY OPEN: The University of Kentucky's John Holmes posted a one-stroke win at Champion Trace Golf Club.

Holmes, of Campbellsville, finished at 10-under 206, one shot better than the score of Jeremy Langley of Lexington.




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