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The Tour Report

May 18 2012

7:37 PM

Campbell, Palmer: Neighbors near lead

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

This file updated at 9:04 p.m. with updated tee time information

IRVING, Texas -- Chad Campbell said his backyard in the nearby suburb of Colleyville is about 500 yards from the backyard of his fellow PGA TOUR-playing neighbor, Ryan Palmer.

Palmer put the distance in golf terms.

"Probably a 5-iron away," he said.

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As close as their homes are, those two friends couldn't be any closer on the leaderboard through the first two rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Each is at 6 under and will go into the weekend in a six-man logjam at second place, one shot behind 36-hole leader Jason Dufner.

Campbell and Palmer first met during their high school days in west Texas -- Campbell was born in Andrews, Palmer in Amarillo. Palmer and Judd Burkett, Campbell's caddie, played on the same high school team at Amarillo High and were next-door neighbors at one point when Palmer first moved to the Metroplex. Palmer's caddie James Edmondson is also part of the close-knit group.

"He and Judd are two of my closest friends out here, for sure," Palmer said.

But the conversation doesn't always turn to golf. Asked if he and Palmer discussed last year's HP Byron Nelson Championship, in which Palmer lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley, Campbell said, "Not too much ... We're definitely friends and talk but not really about anything in particular."

Although Palmer and Campbell live in the same neighborhood, it's mostly at PGA TOUR events where they hang together. "I never see him at home," Palmer said. "It's always on the road."

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For a long time Friday, it appeared Palmer and Campbell would spend 18 holes together in the final twosome on Saturday. They were the first two players to finish at 6 under, and no one was able to jump ahead of them on the leaderboard.

"I hope it works out because it will be fun with James and Judd and Chad and I," Palmer said after his round. "We're real close and the family and friends we have in town, we could be the popular group tomorrow."

When Jason Dufner grabbed the late late in the day, it appeared Palmer and Campbell would not be together. But because so many players made the 36-hole cut – 79 in all – tournament officials opted to switch the usual twosomes on Saturday to threesomes going off both the first and 10th tees.

That means Campbell and Palmer will be together in the final group along with Dufner.  You can expect the hometown fans to cheer on the chasers.

“It’s nice to have that support out there,” Campbell said.

And nice to be paired with a neighbor.