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Two Lead in McGladrey Classic; First Round to Finish Up Friday Morning
Due to heavy fog that caused a two-hour delay in getting the tournament started, the opening round of the McGladrey Classic was not completed due to darkness. The first round of the $5.5 million PGA Tour event on the Seaside Course at Sea Island, Ga., will be completed Friday morning before the start of the second 18.
When the horn sounded sending the players off the course, George McNeill was atop the leaderboard at 8-under par, but he still had two holes to go. Starting on the 10th tee, the 38-year-old Floridian carded five birdies on his front nine and three more on his back, with the eighth and ninth (his 17th and 18th) - both par-4s - yet to be played.
"I actually couldn't really read the putt I had on 7; I just knew what it was going to do," McNeill told PGATour.com. "I just hit it where I had a pretty good idea what it was doing. Fortunately, I had about a 6 footer and I made it for birdie."
The official 18-hole leaders are Briny Baird and Brian Gay, who each carded 7-under 63s on the par-70 layout.
Baird is making a return to competition following surgery on both shoulders in 2012, which caused him the miss all of 2013. "The main surgery was with the AC joint," the 41-year-old explained to PGATour.com. "They took 10 millimeters of bone out of the AC joint. I ended up doing the same surgery on both sides.
"That was the main reason where the pain was coming from. The tears are - (the doctor) didn't seem to stress too much over the tears . . . I do not feel pain in either shoulder," Baird added. "It's a good feeling."
Baird went out with three straight birdies on Nos. 2-4, making the turn in 3-under 32. He came home with four consecutive birdies on 14-17 for a 31. "If there's such thing as an easy 63, today was," Baird said. "I kept the ball in play. I kept it in front of me."
Gay, a four-time Tour winner, posted eight birdies and a bogey for his 63. Gay is one of three entrants who played in last week's WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China. He took a nap during the fog delay, which helped his jet lag. "I felt pretty good when I teed off," Gay said. "I felt like I had more energy."
Also playing in China were Boo Weekley and Scott Piercy, who each carded 67s.
Posting 65s were Americans Webb Simpson, Kevin Kisner and Kevin Chappell, along with South Korean Seung-Yul Noh. Also at 5-under, but with five holes to go, is Robert Garrigus.
In with 66s are Americans Scott Langley, Scott Brown, Chris Kirk, Jonathan Byrd and Will MacKenzie along with Australia's John Senden and Colombian Camilo Villegas. Another three players were at 4-under as well but still need to complete a few holes.
There were 50 players unable to complete the opening round because of darkness. Among those returning early Friday morning to finish is defending champion Tommy Gainey, who's 2-under through 15.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.
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