Ortiz, Curl share lead at suspended South Georgia Classic

 

The Sports Network

Valdosta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Carlos Ortiz and Jeff Curl carded matching 5-under 67s on Thursday to share the lead at the South Georgia Classic before play was suspended for darkness.

There were a pair of rain delays lasting a total of five hours earlier in the day at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, which caused the eventual suspension. The first round will resume at 7:45 a.m. ET Friday.

Last week's WNB Golf Classic winner, Andrew Putnam, and Blayne Barber each shot a 4-under 68 to share third place, while Scott Pinckney, Kelly Kraft, Scott Parel, Miguel Angel Carballo, Colt Knost and Rob Oppenheim all carded a 3-under 69 and are tied for fifth.

Tom Hoge and Fabian Gomez were at 3-under through nine and six holes, respectively, when play was called for the day.

Ortiz was the first of the co-leaders to take the course and he started with back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th. He parred his next seven holes to make the turn at 2-under.

He closed his bogey-free round with birdies at the second, fifth and ninth to end at 5-under.

"I'm not trying to think about anything. I'm having fun with my caddie," said Ortiz, who has two wins in seven starts this season. "I'm not thinking about the money or the money list or what happens with one more win. I'm just trying to focus on the present and enjoy it."

Curl also started fast with a birdie at the first. After parring his next two holes, he poured in consecutive birdies at the fourth and fifth to move to 3- under.

A bogey at the eighth dropped him to minus-2 at the turn, but he got that stroke back with a birdie at the 10th and later recorded consecutive gains at the 13th and 14th to meet Ortiz at 5-under.

He parred his final four holes to end there.

Barber and Putnam each had four birdies during their bogey-free rounds to earn their share of third place.

"I can't remember the last time I've started and stopped twice in a round," said Putnam. "We knew it was going to be like this today and we prepared for it and expected it. I tried not to hit too many balls on the range, because if I would have the full warm up every time I would have hit 500 balls and just been worn out."

NOTES: Ortiz can earn an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour with one more victory this season ... Lift, clean and place conditions were in effect for the first round ... The second round is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m., but there is rain in the forecast for Friday ... Tyler Weworski withdrew prior to the start of the first round and was replaced by Skip Kendall.

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