Five players tied for lead, nearly half of field didn’t finish rounds |

Five players tied for lead, nearly half of field didn’t finish rounds

Jeremy Evans

RENO — University of Nevada graduate Kirk Triplett and four others emerged as the first round leaders following a soggy Thursday at the Reno-Tahoe Open. Triplett, Andy Miller, Bob Tway, Steve Pate and Paul Stankowski all took advantage of early morning tee times at Montreux Golf and Country Club to finish the day with 5-under 67s. Five others are one shot back of the leaders at 4-under, including Rod Pampling, who was only through seven holes when play was suspended.

It wasn’t the wind, which is normally the case, that caused problems for those with afternoon tee times. For the first time in the tournament’s five-year history there was rain delay. And by the time late afternoon came there was a second rain delay. About half of the 131-man field either didn’t start or finish their rounds, which means today could be a long day. Sixty-six players finished their rounds, 63 didn’t and two didn’t even tee off. Most of those players will have to finish their first rounds today, and possibly their second rounds if the tournament is to run on schedule.

Tway, who hasn’t won a tournament since the MCI Classic in 1995, almost didn’t finish his round. Seconds after sinking his 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18, play was suspended for the first time. His two playing partners, Pat Perez and Richard Zokol, weren’t allowed to putt out to finish their rounds.

“That’s kind of unfortunate for them,” said Tway, who hasn’t had a top-10 finish since the Bell South Classic in early April. “I played well at Tucson, Doral, The Players (Championship) and Atlanta. I didn’t play bad after that, I just wasn’t making putts. That’s the difference between playing well and not playing well. You gotta’ make putts. It’s always nice to play a good round. It means nothing. There’s a lot of golf left. The scores are always pretty good here.”

Miller, the son of former U.S. Open champion Johnny Miller, had the shot of the first round to get into the lead. On No. 9, a 616-yard par 5, his second shot landed in the sagebrush on the left side of the fairway. His ball was lay on top of a dirt mound but he stuck his third shot from 92 yards out to seven feet and then made birdie.

Reno resident Scott McCarron’s impressive round was suspended after the fifth hole. He was 3-under at the time and was coming off an eagle on No. 4 and a birdie on No. 5. Dennis Paulson, Luke Donald, J.P. Hayes and Pampling are all at 4-under going into today’s second round. Pampling is coming off a top-10 at last week’s PGA Championship.

First-round play will resume today at 8 a.m. with no official announcement yet of when the second round will begin.