Rod Pampling Takes First-Round Lead at BMW Charity Pro-Am
Rod Pampling of Brisbane, Australia, shot a bogey-free 63 at The Reserve at Lake Keowee in the opening round of the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation to take a two-stroke lead over Pepperdine product Jason Allred and South Korea’s Si Woo Kim.
Five players are tied for fourth place at 6-under-par: the University of Kentucky’s Mark Blakefield, Argentina’s Miguel Angel Carballo, Australia’s Aron Price and Alistair Presnell, and Boise State University’s Tyler Aldridge.
Pampling began his round on the back nine and carded three birdies to make the turn in 33. But the two-time PGA TOUR winner turned a good round into a great round with five birdies on his final six holes to finish with nine birdies on the day. The 9-under par total is the 45-year-old pro’s lowest career round on the Web.com Tour.
Through three events on the Web.com Tour in 2015, Pampling has recorded one top-10 finish and a tie for 8th at the Colombia Championship. He also finished T10 at the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open in March to solidify what has been an encouraging start to the year.
After a 2014 season that only yielded two top-10 performances on the Web.com Tour, Pampling began studying his past success to look for clues on how to improve.
“At the end of the year I looked at all of my old videos from ’04, ’05 and ’06. The setup was very different – basically just went back to that setup and nothing else. I felt a little more athletic over the ball and more balanced and it has started to come around.”
Pampling is certainly wishing the next three days of the tournament could be played at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, where the TOUR veteran feels the course sets up well for his game after hitting every fairway in regulation on Thursday.
“I got here yesterday and had a look around and it’s just one of those courses that just looks good to the eye,” Pampling said. “There’s a lot of tee shots that set up really well for me and we took advantage of it.”
Jason Allred followed Pampling with a bogey-free round of his own at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, carding five birdies and one eagle for a 7-under-par 65. The Scottsdale, Ariz., resident makes a habit of embracing the Pro-Am format, and so far that attitude has paid dividends.
“It was a good fun day. Golf wise, I played really nicely and had a couple of good breaks,” Allred said. “[Our group] had a great time and it helped me take my mind off what I was doing.”
Si Woo Kim joins Allred in second place with a bogey-free 65 at Green Valley Country Club.
“I feel more comfortable at this tournament playing with an amateur and my putting is better than two weeks ago,” Kim said. “The green speed is better for me than two weeks ago. On No. 8 the pin was back but I made a putt from the front of the green.”
* Thursday weather: Partly cloudy. Wind NE 6-12 mph in the morning, increasing to 7-14 mph in the afternoon. Daytime high 79.
* This week’s purse is $675,000 with $121,500 going to the champion.
* First-round leader Rod 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.
* Jason Allred may have a 13 year old to thank if he is able to walk away with his first Web.com Tour victory this week. Allred’s amateur partner is Parker MacDonald, son of tournament director Darren Macdonald.
“My caddie Steve and I were chatting about doing our best to enjoy and embrace the Pro-Am format and playing with a 13 year old it was hard to ignore what a privilege it is that I have to play this for a job.”
* Si Woo Kim fired a bogey-free 65 and is currently two strokes off the lead. Kim’s 7-under-par round matched his lowest first-round score on Tour. At the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Championship the 19-year-old opened the tournament with a 65 but struggled to break par the final 54 holes and finished T11.
Before Thursday, Kim managed only one bogey-free round this season. It came in the final round of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER where he posted 68.
* Nick Flanagan, the 2007 and 2012 champion, shot 4-under-par 68 and is looking to become the first three-time winner of the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation. He and Shane Bertsch (2000, 2005) are the only two-time winners in the tournament’s 24-year history.
* Scoring averages for the week:
Thornblade Club (host) Front (35) Back (36) Total (71)
R1 34.375 35.679 70.054
Green Valley CC Front (36) Back (36) Total (72)
R1 35.786 35.393 71.179
The Reserve at Lake Keowee Front (36) Back (36) Total (72)
R1 35.018 35.054 70.072
* 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.
|1||Rod Pampling (LK)||63 (-9)|
|T2||Jason Allred (LK)||65 (-7)|
|T2||Si Woo Kim (GV)||65 (-7)|
|T4||Mark Blakefield (TC)||65 (-6)|
|T4||Aron Price (TC)||65 (-6)|
|T4||Miguel Angel Carballo (TC)||65 (-6)|
|T4||Alistair Presnell (LK)||65 (-6)|
|T4||Tyler Aldridge (LK)||65 (-6)|
TC=Thornblade Club, GV=Green Valley Country Club, LK=The Reserve at Lake Keowee