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Gore, Watkins share lead at delayed Midwest Classic

Overland Park, KS (Sports Network) - Jason Gore and Aaron Watkins both carded 6-under 65s Thursday to grab a share of the lead with the first round of the Midwest Classic suspended due to darkness.

Gore is the tour's all-time leader in wins with seven, while Watkins is searching for his first one.

The first round at the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate was delayed for just over three hours due to threatening weather in the area. The round will resume Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, while the second round tee times will be delayed by one hour.

Michael Connell and Christopher DeForest share third place at minus-5.

Andrew Svoboda, who is ninth on the tour money list, posted a 4-under 67. He was joined there by Notah Begay III and Jason Allred, who are both finished their rounds. Benoit Beisser (11 holes) and Kevin Foley (10 holes) are also at minus-4.

Gore traded a bogey for a birdie from the 11th to start his round. He poured in four consecutive birdies from the 15th to turn at minus-4. His birdie at the par-3 17th was from inches away.

The 38-year-old wrapped birdies at the fourth and sixth around a bogey on the fifth. Gore closed out his round with a birdie on the ninth.

"I hit some really good shots today and made all the putts I needed to. The greens are perfect and I hit some shots that were really close and had a couple of 'leaners' which always makes it nice," Gore stated. "I also played the par-5s pretty well."

Watkins, who was in the first group out off the 10th tee, birdied the 12th and 14th. He ran off seven straight pars from the 15th. Watkins, who played his college golf at Kansas State, then converted three birdies in a row from the fourth to get to 5-under.

Like Gore, Watkins birdied the ninth from six feet out to finish his round.

"It was a good start for me and I'll take 6-under on a day like this. I've been doing a lot of things right all year long and lately it's been my putter which has been lacking a bit," said Watkins, who needed just 24 putts in his first round. "I've been hitting the ball well, but just not making any putts."

NOTES: Michael Connell had a hole-in-one on the par-3 second...John Chin was disqualified for not signing his scorecard after shooting 67, while Reid Edstrom was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

08/16 22:29:51 ET


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