Pappas leads rain-soaked Nationwide Bogota Open, which is cut to 54 holes

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PGA.com news services

Series:

Brenden Pappas birdied three of his final four holes Saturday to take the clubhouse lead in the rain-delayed Pacific Rubiales Bogota Open. Pappas closed the day with back-to-back birdies to put the finishing touches on a 5-under 66 that left him at 9-under 133 through two rain-soaked rounds in the Nationwide Tour’s second event on the 2011 schedule.

Florida’s Matt Every shot a second-straight 4-under 67 and is in second place at 8-under 134. Julian Etulain (68) of Argentina and Tour rookie Clayton Rask (69) are tied for third place, two strokes back. Another Floridian, Bubba Dickerson (66) is in at 6-under 136.

2011 PACIFIC RUBIALES BOGOTA OPEN

This is the second year that the Nationwide Tour has come to historic Bogota Country Club after the season opener in neighboring Panama.

Despite darkening skies throughout the day, the rain that has plagued the event never materialized, allowing for a full day for players to try to catch up with a schedule that continues to be way behind.

Half the field has yet to finish 36 holes. Those players, some with as many as 17 holes to go, will return to the course at 7:00 a.m. Sunday to complete their rounds.

The low 60 players and ties will make the 36-hole cut and advance to the third round of what is now reduced to a 54-hole event.

“I was definitely more aggressive the last four holes,” said Pappas, a South African native who now lives in Texas. “Maybe I should play like that all the time.”

Pappas hit “a magnificent 7-iron” on his closing hole to within five feet and canned the putt to break a temporary tie with Every, who had played in the group directly in front of him.

“We don’t even know if we’re going to get 36 holes in,” said Pappas. “You knew from the start that you needed to make birdies and make them early. You have to try and get as far under par as quickly as possible because the permutations are endless. At this point, I doubt we’ll get 54 in.”

Sunday’s weather forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of additional rain.

“When I was coming in, I was definitely playing like this was the last round,” chuckled Every, who was being interviewed when he saw Pappas make a final birdie to break the tie at 8 under. “Brenden just birdied there so he’s at 9 under. I hope it goes 54 holes now but I can’t control the weather.”

What Every can control is his swing, which is under the guidance now of PGA Tour member Spencer Levin’s father.

“Things are starting to make a lot more sense to me. It’s simple and it works,” he said. “I’ve always kind of played an open face off the toe and my miss was a glance. I’ve squared it up more. The club is a lot squarer through impact for a longer period of time. I’m hitting it great this week, maybe the best I’ve ever hit it.”

Saturday Notes:

--Canada’s Andrew Parr gained entry into the tournament via a sponsor’s exemption. His opening-round 65 tied the course record, which was established last year by Tag Ridings and Dave Schultz in the first round and later matched by Sal Spallone, Jamie Lovemark and Zack Miller. Parr shot a 3-over 74 in the second round and is at 3-under 139 and currently tied for 16th place.

--The first-round scoring average for the par-71 course was 71.587.

--Both the first and second rounds are being played under “lift, clean and place” conditions.

--Play was suspended because of darkness at 5:55 p.m. The second round will resume at 7:00 a.m. Sunday with half the field returning to complete their rounds.

--Upon completion of the second round, the low 60 players and ties will make the cut. The third round is scheduled to begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. Play will be in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees.

--The last 54-hole event on the Nationwide Tour was the 2010 Rex Hospital Open. The third round was completed on Saturday with John Riegger leading by five strokes. The start of the final round was delayed three hours and play was eventually suspended at 1:45 p.m. and the final tournament standings reverted back to the completed third round.

--Vance Veazey was disqualified when he didn’t return to the course Saturday to complete the first round. Guy Boros was disqualified when he didn’t show up on the tee for his second round. Mark Hensby (76) withdrew after the first round.