Kamin tries Dayton qualifier for 10th time

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DAYTON - After failing to advance to Stage II of the PGA qualifying in 2008, Chris Kamin decided that it was time to step away from the game and pursue a college coaching job.

He didn't count on the economy going south.

"I couldn't get a job," Kamin said after shooting a 2-under-par 70 Wednesday at Dayton Valley Golf and Country Club on the first day of the PGA Stage 1 qualifying tournament. "I had to keep playing. Last November and December wasn't a good time to look for work (coaching).

"I played the Gateway Tour (in and around Phoenix) and played well all year ($122,464). I won twice. I figured I could make good money and be home every night."

So Kamin is chasing the dream again in his 10th attempt at the PGA qualifier. He tied for second here in 2004 and reached the Q-school finals that year. He has reached the second stage six times.

The veteran is five shots out of the lead as Ted Oh, Andrew Dodt and Tommy Barber all carded 7-under-par 65s. The top 22 and ties in the 68-player field will move on to Stage II.

Jeff Rangel is a stroke back at 66, while Matt Edwards, Terry Pilkadaris, Sang-Eun Ji, Derek Berg, Todd Murphy, Marc Peterson, Jeremy Anderson and Ben Portie were at 5-under 67.

Kamin endured a strange round, carding seven birdies and five bogeys.

"I was hoping not to make five bogeys all week," Kamin said. " I wish I'd played better."

Kamin was even-par through six, but bogeyed the par-4, 425-yard 7th and the 9th, a 450-yard par-4, to make the turn at 2-over 37.

Then came his birdie binge. Kamin birdied Nos. 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 to go 4-under. He had a three-putt bogey on No. 16, the 234-yard par-3, to drop to 3-under and bogeyed the 537-yard, par-5 18th to finish at 70.

"I bogeyed two par-5s, and you can't do that out here," he said. "I made five bogeys and all were three-putt bogeys."

Bogey was a strange word to Oh and the other 56 players who shot par or better in pristine conditions on the 7,218-yard layout. A total of 49 players were under par and eight others were at even par.

It was Oh's first official round on the course. He was here in 1997, but had to withdraw for health reasons.

"I got sent to the emergency room," Oh said. "I thought it was a simple case of the flu. The doctors went crazy. They started draining fluid out of my spinal cord."

Oh carded seven birdies and no bogeys. His only birdie on the front came at No. 3, a 505-yard par-5. He hit a 5-iron to reach the green in two and two-putted from 15-feet.

He got hot on the back, registering birdies on Nos. 11, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 18.

"I didn't make any putts on the front," said Oh, who is playing overseas on the Asian Tour. Oh is 12th on the money list there, but expects to drop because he'll miss a couple of tournaments.

Dodt carded an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys. The eagle came on No. 11 when he hit a 6-iron into the green and two-putted. His longest birdie putt came on No. 7 when he rolled in a 50-footer. His bogeys came at Nos. 4 and 5.

"I liked the course," Dodt said. "It was pleasing to the eye. If the weather stays like this, the scoring is going to be low."

Rangel, also making his debut at Dayton, finished with a 6-under 66. His round featured an eagle, five birdies and one bogey.

Rangel eagled No. 5, a 425-yard par-4 when he holed out a sand wedge from 120 yards. He drained a 20-footer on No. 17, his longest birdie putt of the day. His lone bogey came on No. 11, a 546-yard par-5, when he drove the ball into the water.

"The greens are as good as they can get; fast and so true," Rangel said.

Ji collected six birdies and one bogey.

"The wind wasn't blowing at all," Ji said. "The greens read nice. They were fast. I hit the ball pretty good and putted pretty good."

Ji's longest birdie putt was 25 feet on No. 17, a 478-yard par-4. His lone bogey came on No. 13, a 219-yard par-3, when his 5-iron approach shot bounced over the green. He chipped back on and two-putted.

NOTES: Three players withdrew - Billy Whalen (flu), Niki Ferrari and Kevin Berger, neither of whom showed up at the course ... Twelve players in this year's field made it to Stage II last year ... Scott Hend had the distinction of shooting the worst round. He shot an 8-over 80 ... The field averaged 70.01 for the first round ... First tee time today is at 9 a.m., and players will be going off the first and 10th tees. Admission to the tournament is free.


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