Originally created 10/25/02

Barranger leads after first round in Buy.com Tour Championship



PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Todd Barranger shot a 7-under 65 Thursday and held a two-shot lead after the first round of the Buy.com Tour Championship, a 20-shot improvement for him from last year's season-ending tournament.

The top 15 players on the Buy.com money list after this tournament earn exemptions to the PGA Tour.

Barranger started this tournament in 15th place last year and fell to No. 16 after a poor performance that started with the 85. He missed earning his PGA Tour card by just $2,273.

He began this week in the same place on the money list.

"I'm not battling the nerves like I was last year - the what-ifs, the who's doing this and who's doing that," Barranger said. "I'm just focused on what I'm doing. Last year was a huge learning experience for me."

Barranger had seven birdies on the rain-soaked Capitol Hill's Senator Course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. He had birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 Thursday.

Jason Gore bogeyed the 18th hole to cap a 67 and was tied with Mike Heinen and Eric Meeks. Aaron Baddeley and Roland Thatcher had 68s.