By Evin Priest
ROD Pampling’s second round at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open had Las Vegas written all over it – on top of the world one day, dropping two shots in his first five holes the next.
Only 24 hours after narrowly missing a birdie putt to become just the second Australian to shoot 59 on the US PGA Tour, Pampling was feeling the leaderboard nerves with two bogeys in his opening five holes at the par-71 TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas on Friday.
But the 47-year-old Aussie veteran brushed aside a shaky start to back up his scintillating 11-under 60 with a 3-under par 68.
Immediately after his second bogey, at the par-3 14th, the Queenslander bounced back with two birdies on the back nine (his front nine) to make the turn even at par.
On the home stretch, Pampling picked up four birdies and a bogey to climb to 14-under par – enough to share the lead with Brooks Koepka. The pair have a two-shot lead over 20-year-old American Aaron Wise heading into moving day.
Pampling is chasing his third career US PGA Tour victory and first since the Bay Hill Invitational in 2006. His last professional victory was at the BMW Charity pro-am on the Web.com Tour last year.
Next best of the Australians is Matt Jones, who at 9-under par currently sits five back of his compatriot Pampling with three holes to play in his second round. Geoff Ogilvy is also in the hunt in Las Vegas at 7-under par, while John Senden and youngster Cameron Smith are two back at 5-under.