Aaron Watkins and Jason Gore, both of whom have spent time on the higher-level PGA Tour, were the leaders in the clubhouse with six-under-par scores of 65 on Thursday in the first-round of the Web.com Midwest Classic golf tournament at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park.
Rain delayed play in the late afternoon and, as a result, not all of the players were able to finish their round on Thursday.
Michael Connel and Christopher DeForest are one shot back of the leaders at five-under, and four others are tied for fifth at four-under 67. Cooler temperatures than in recent weeks in the Kansas City area and little or no wind to deal with contributed to lower scores on the first day of the four-day tournament, the 18th tour stop on the Web.com (formerly the Nationwide Tour) 2012 schedule.
Watkins, who turned 30 just a couple of weeks ago, had four birdies in the first nine holes and two more on the back nine in a bogey-free opening round. Gore recorded eight birdies, but also had two bogeys, over his 18 holes. He finished his opening round with four consecutive birdies and a score of 31 on the back side.
Watkins previous high finish on the Web.com Tour this year was a tie for fourth-place at the United Leasing Championship in late June in Newburgh, Ind. Gore best finish of 2012 was 21st at the True South Classic last month.
Last year's winner of the Midwest Classic, Australian James Nitties, was one of the four golfers tied at four-under 67 after day one of the tournament.
Kansas City-area pro, Michael Letzig of Richmond, Mo., had a first-round score of one-over 72.
Second-round action, including the resumption of any unfinished first-round play, will begin at 7:30 a.m. CT on Friday at the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate.
Follow all the tournament news and the live leaderboard from the Midwest Classic at PGATour.com.