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Three share WNB Golf Classic lead
Midland, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Rod Pampling carded a 6-under 66 on Thursday to claim a share of the lead of the WNB Golf Classic.
Pampling, who is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, was joined by Andrew Putnam and Trevor Murphy atop the leaderboard at Midland Country Club.
Panama Claro Championship and El Bosque Mexico Championship winner Carlos Ortiz shot a 5-under 67 to earn a tie with Len Mattiace, Travis Bertoni and Sebastian Vazquez for fourth place.
If Ortiz can go on to win this event, he will earn an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour.
Four-time Web.com Tour titlist Hunter Haas was among nine players tied for eighth at 4-under 68.
Pampling was the lone member of the leaders to tee off with the morning wave and he opened his round with a pair of pars before rolling in back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th.
He then converted birdies at the 15th and 17th around a bogey at the 16th to make the turn at 3-under.
Pampling cruised through his inward nine with birdies at the first, fifth and eighth to claim the clubhouse lead at minus-6.
"If you hit it high with the wind as strong as it is the ball's going to get caught in it, so I'm just pegging it down low and let it roll," Pampling said about playing in the winds that gusted as high as 30 mph. "I think you really have to work out where the ball is going to end, which is hard when the ball is rolling 50 yards."
Putnam also started on the back nine and birdied the 10th. After parring his next six holes, he added another gain at the 17th.
He caught fire around the turn with four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the first to jump to 6-under and traded a bogey at the seventh with a bogey at the eighth to finish there.
"Six-under in that wind was unreal," said Putnam. "We saw that the wind was going to die down this afternoon and we were kind of fist-pumping inside."
Murphy parred his first three holes before converting consecutive birdies at the fourth and fifth.
He reached 3-under with a birdie from just off the green at the eighth, and closed his bogey-free round with birdies at Nos. 10, 15 and 17 to also finish at 6-under.
NOTES: Pampling, who is making his 68th career start on the Web.com Tour, holds the first-round lead for the first time ... Murphy is making his first start on tour since 2012 on a sponsor's exemption ... Brett Stegmaier withdrew after the first round. He carded a 10-over 82.
04/24 23:48:00 ET