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June 3 2011

4:31 PM

Pampling roars into contention

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

DUBLIN, Ohio – Rod Pampling needs to make the most of his opportunities this year.

The Aussie finished 151st on the PGA TOUR money list last year so he lost his card. He’s competing on past champion status and this week’s Memorial Tournament is just his eighth start.

Pampling has responded well to the pressure, though. He posted top-10s in his last two starts in his adopted home of Texas and is in position for another after two rounds at Muirfield Village.

Pampling, who is seeking to end a five-year victory drought, fired a bogey-free 66 on Friday to move to 6 under for the tournament. He’s tied for the lead with Ricky Barnes, Jonathan Byrd and Rory McIlroy.

“Obviously it's where you want to be is in contention, to have a chance,” Pampling said. “It was just a beautiful day out there. There was hardly any breeze, golf course is in fantastic condition, and you know, obviously things went our way.”

Pampling, who started on the back side, had matching nines of 33 as he shot in the 60s for the eighth time in 10 starts at Muirfield Village. Three of those came in 2007 when he tied for third.

“It's a good, classic golf course,” Pampling said. “I think it's in great shape. It's not just get up and smash it. You've got to shape it around and put it in positions.

“We've been here enough to know where the good positions are and where the bad ones are. We just keep away from the bad ones, should be all right.”

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