Rod Pampling Increases Lead at BMW Charity Pro-Am
As if driving one of the tournament sponsor vehicles, Australia’s Rod Pampling kept the gas pedal down in the second round of the Web.com Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am sponsored by SYNNEX Corporation Friday, firing a second consecutive 63 to grab a four-shot lead. The two-time PGA TOUR winner and first-round leader stands at 18-under par and takes a four-shot lead over Oregon native Jason Allred (65) into Saturday’s round.
Pampling’s 18-under start is one off the Tour’s all-time 36-hole record set by Kevin Chappell (2010 Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic) and Webb Simpson (2008 Chattanooga Classic). His 126 total is the best 36-hole score on Tour this year, bettering Peter Malnati’s 128 start in Brazil.
“It’s nice to see balls going in the hole,” Pampling said. “In this game we see a lot of bad stuff, so when it’s coming around nice you just enjoy the walk and don’t get in your own way. It’s certainly a more relaxing atmosphere having playing (amateur) partners.”
A shot back in third place at 13 under is Texan Kelly Kraft (63).
Five golfers are tied for fourth at 11 under – Ireland’s Seamus Power (65), Auburn grad Patton Kizzire (65), Si Woo Kim of South Korea (67), Massachusetts’ Rob Oppenheim (64) and Pampling’s fellow Aussie Bronson La’Cassie (66).
Today Pampling played Green Valley Country Club in Greenville, one of three host venues for the popular pro-celebrity/amateur event. His 9-under effort yesterday came at The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C. The 45-year-old who now resides in the Dallas area will complete the rotation on Saturday at Thornblade Club in Greer, S.C. Pampling’s 19 birdies have been offset by just one bogey, recorded today on the 12th hole.
In five PGA TOUR starts this year, Pampling’s best finish is a T10 at the Puerto Rico. On the Web.com Tour, he has one top 10, a T8 at the Colombia Championship, in his three appearances.
What keeps the leader motivated? “It’s the love of the game,” he said. “If you don’t love it, there’s not much point being out here, because the competition is too hard. I still want it bad. I love playing the game and getting up in the morning and doing the work. That part has never disappeared. It’s been frustrating because the ball isn’t going where it’s supposed to be going.” That clearly has changed the last two days.
Allred backed up his first-round 65 at The Reserve at Lake Keowee with another bogey-free 65 at Green Valley. The 2002 Pepperdine grad has made 14 birdies in his opening 36 holes. A non-winner to date on the Web.com Tour, he has made 118 Web.com Tour starts.
“I love this golf tournament,” Allred said. “And I’m aware of what’s going on, but I’m going to try and use it as a cue to be great at what I can control. For me, that’s having fun first and foremost and playing the percentages.”
Kraft, the 2011 U.S. Amateur champion and Dallas native, blitzed Green Valley, recording nine birdies and no bogeys en route to a 63. The 26-year-old who played at hometown SMU is seeking his second win of 2015, having claimed the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in late March. He is 10th on the money list.
Another Australian was in the spotlight Friday. Melbourne’s James Nitties recorded the first double eagle on Tour this year when he jarred a 6-iron from 185 yards on the par-5 11th at The Reserve at Lake Keowee. It was his first albatross since turning professional in 2004. It spurred him to a 65 and into a tie for 13th spot.
|1||Rod Pampling||63-63—126 (-18)|
|2||Jason Allred||65-65—130 (-14)|
|3||Kelly Kraft||68-63—131 (-13)|
* Friday weather: Partly cloudy. Wind S 6-12 mph. Overnight low 63. Daytime high 77.
* This week’s purse is $675,000 with $121,500 going to the champion.
*Given the unique three-course format, this week’s cut will come after 54 holes tomorrow (Saturday) instead of the standard 36 hole cut.
*The low six celebrity teams and the low 10 amateur teams will qualify to play on Sunday at Thornblade. The Pro-Celebrity leaders after two rounds are pro Jamie Lovemark and actor/comedian Gary Valentine (T3/25-under) and pro Ryan Spears and actor Rob Riggle (5th/24-under) . Leading the Pro-Amateur portion is the team pro Rod Pampling and partner Stewart Spinks (29-under).
* Rod Pampling’s 126 total matches the sixth-lowest opening 36-hole score in Tour history. He is the 12th player to shoot 126 to open a tournament – and the first to post back-to-back 63s in the process:
36 HOLES (OPENING ROUNDS)
Kevin Chappell, The Georgian Bay Club (par 71), Raven GC at Lora Bay (par 72), Ontario, Canada, 2010 Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic (19-under)
Jason Gore, Whirlwind GC, (par 71), (Devil’s Claw), Chandler, Ariz., 2002 Gila River Golf Classic (17-under)
Webb Simpson, Black Creek Club (par 72), Chattanooga, Tenn., 2008 Chattanooga Classic (19-under)
Luke Guthrie, Champions Run (par 71), Omaha, Neb., 2012 Cox Classic (17-under)
Jon Curran, Sao Paulo GC (par 71), Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2014 Brasil Champions (17-under)
12 players – including Rod Pampling, (63-63) The Reserve at Lake Keowee/Green Valley Country Club, (par 72/72), Greenville, S.C., 2015 BMW Charity Pro-Am (16-under)
* Pampling’s 18-under par score matches the third-best in Tour history. Only two players have ever been further under par through the first two rounds of a tournament:
MOST STROKES UNDER PAR (36 HOLES)
Webb Simpson, 2008 Chattanooga Classic
Kevin Chappell, 2010 Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic
* Pampling is a two-time winner and has made 316 career starts on the PGA TOUR. His victories came at The INTERNATIONAL in 2004 and the Bay Hill Invitational in 2006.
* Pampling has made 3 of 5 cuts on the PGA TOUR in the 2014-15 season with his best finish a T10 at the Puerto Rico Open. Pampling is 3-for-3 on the 2015 Web.com Tour, with a T8 at the Colombia Championship in Bogota.
* Pampling is already exempt into The Open Championship at St. Andrew’s this July after finishing second to Jordan Spieth in the Emirates Australian Open this past November.
* James Nitties recorded the first double eagle on Tour this year. Nitties holed his second shot from 185 yards on the par-5, 11th hole at The Reserve at Lake Keowee. It was the first double eagle of his career.
“I was on a down slope and hit 6-iron,” he said. “I thought, just get close. It did one better and dropped in the hole. It landed about 12 feet short and went in.”
There were five double eagles on Tour in 2014.
* Scott Parel had a hole-in-one Friday at Lake Keowee. Parel used a 9-iron from 142 yards at the par-3, 16th for his ace. It was the 11th hole-in-one on Tour this year. Parel shot a 7-under 65 and is 6-under through 36 holes.
* Auburn’s Patton Kizzire is poised for a third consecutive top-10 finish. Kizzire posted a 7-under 65 at The Reserve at Lake Keowee and is T4, 11-under par.
“I putted really well,” said Kizzire, who had 26 putts on the day. “I just put myself in good spots and hit a lot of greens (15). You can’t really forget you are in contention. You’ve just got to learn how to deal with it.”
In his last two starts, Kizzire tied for second at the El Bosque Mexico Championship and tied for fifth at the United Leasing Championship. He entered the week No. 6 on the money list.
* Scoring averages for the week:
Thornblade Club (host) Front (35) Back (36) Total (71)
R1 34.375 35.679 70.054
R2 33.786 35.089 68.875
Green Valley CC Front (36) Back (36) Total (72)
R1 35.786 35.393 71.179
R2 35.411 34.500 69.911
The Reserve at Lake Keowee Front (36) Back (36) Total (72)
R1 35.018 35.054 70.072
R2 34.411 34.089 68.500
* Next week – The Web.com Tour will be idle next week before moving to North Carolina for the Rex Hospital Open at TPC Wakefield Plantation near Raleigh. Last year, Byron Smith, one of three 54-hole co-leaders, carded a 5-under 66 on the final day and cruised to a four-stroke win for his first career victory on Tour.