With a magical wedge, Jeff Gove stormed to the top of the leaderboard at the inaugural Turning Stone Resort Championship.
And with accurate irons and a red-hot putter, Chad Campbell joined him.
Gove and Campbell each posted seven-under-par rounds of 65 at the Atunyote Golf Club in Verona, taking full advantage of good scoring conditions -- sunshine, soft fairways and greens, little wind -- to lead Matthew Goggin, Steve Flesch, Brenden de Jonge and John Senden by one shot after Thursday's opening round.
Never a winner on the PGA Tour, Gove, a 36-year-old journeyman from Seattle, teed off in the morning and stormed out with birdies on five of his first eight holes before turning in 32.
More birdies followed, on 11 (a 40-foot putt) and 12, and Gove reached six under. He bogeyed the 13th, then recorded a string of pars before reaching the 623-yard par-5 18th.
Not able to get close to the green in two, Gove hit two solid shots to wedge range. Then, from 100 yards out, his approach landed behind the hole, then spun back hard and crashed into the cup for an eagle.
Gove is 152nd on the PGA Tour money list and needs a strong effort in the Tour's "Fall Series" to maintain his card for 2008. He hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, a reflection of the fact that he ranks second on Tour with a greens-in-regulation percentage of 70.3.
Campbell, meanwhile, is of much more well-known stock. He has won three times on Tour, including the Tour Championship in 2003, and has played in two Ryder Cups. He also likes Upstate New York, having contended until the 72nd hole of the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill in suburban Rochester before Shaun Micheel beat him.
Paired in the afternoon with Senden, Campbell quickly strung together four birdies on holes 4 through 8, then made a clutch par putt at 9 that sent him out in 32, just like Gove.