Aussies lead the field in suspended first round

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Cameron Percy shot 8-under 64 to lead the field in the suspended first round in Maryland.
June 04, 2009
Kin Lo, PGA TOUR Staff

MITCHELLVILLE, Md. -- A trio of Australians are atop the leaderboard after the first round of the Nationwide Tour's Melwood Prince George's County Open. With play suspended due to rain and wet-course conditions, Cameron Percy is the clubhouse leader at 8 under.

Close behind are fellow countrymen Michael Sim at 6 under and Andre Stolz at 5 under. Tom Scherrer of Raleigh, N.C., where last week's event was played, is also tied for third with Stolz at 5 under through 12 holes.

Play was halted around 4:30 p.m. due to heavy rain and excess water on the course. The first round was officially suspended for the day at 6 p.m. Notwithstanding additional delays, the 80 players still on the course are scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning. The second round is estimated to begin between 10 and 11 a.m.

Starting on the back nine, Percy got off to an inauspicious start.

"It started off really poorly actually," he admitted. "It was raining, and I bogeyed the first hole. Then I sort of got lucky and made a birdie on the second hole. I didn't do much for a few holes, and then the weather improved, and I got a feel for how much the ball was going to spin. From there, I just started hitting it closer and closer."

After a 2-under 34 on his first nine holes, Percy proceeded to fire a 6-under 30 on the next nine with four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 sixth.

Sim, the current Nationwide Tour money leader, finished the day two shots behind Percy with a 6-under 66. Sim is looking for his third win of the season and an instant promotion to the PGA TOUR.

"Last week, I was in contention after two rounds and got to thinking about it too much," he commented about the three-win promotion. "I've just got to get back to my routines and play golf like I have been for the last six months."

More rain is expected to come overnight and persist through Friday morning, lessening in the afternoon hours. Partly cloudy skies and dry weather is anticipated for Saturday and Sunday.


First-round notes

• The Melwood Prince George's County Open is the 11th of 29 official events on the 2009 Nationwide Tour schedule.

• Due to the wet conditions, tournament officials implemented a local rule that allowed players to lift, clean and replace their ball in closely-mown areas through the green (areas cut to fairway height or less).

• The scoring average for Round 1 is currently 71.9.