WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - The leader board has everything you might expect from the inaugural edition of The Greenbrier Classic.
There are young guns trying to slug their way into golf's elite, and there are others fighting just to keep full tour privileges for next year.
Or acquire them, in the case of Erik Compton.
Compton, the man who has undergone two heart transplants and arrived on a sponsor's exemption (see story, Page 3B), shot a 7-under-par 63 to take the lead in a first round that just did get in. Matt Every, a graduate of the 2009 Nationwide Tour, matched that in the late afternoon.
Every and everyone else with an afternoon tee time had to endure a delay of 1 hour, 33 minutes, caused by rumbling thunder. All 155 players did finish, though.
The 63s led the expected assault on par at the Old White Course's 7,031-yard layout. Three players fired 64s - George McNeill, Pat Perez and Jeff Overton.
It took a 65 to reach the top 10, with five hitting that on the number - Brendon de Jonge, Charles Howell III, Aron Price, Matt Bettencourt and John Rollins.
As expected, it took under par to land in the top 70, the cut line after 36 holes. Eighty-one players landed at 1-under or better.
"Yeah, anytime the greens get soft they roll pretty well, so they're very true," Overton said. "Anytime the greens get like that and you get on with a driver, you're getting a lot of wedges in here because it's so firm and fast on the fairways.
"It's just you're getting some good scoring opportunities. It's unfortunate that they have to water the greens so much, but otherwise they'd kill the greens if they didn't."
Every and Compton, ages 26 and 30, respectively, are the epitome of aspiring (or struggling) pros. Every won the Nationwide Tour Championship last year to assure his ascension to the big tour, and enters this week 134th on the money list and 126th in the FedExCup points standings.
The former University of Florida star showed his plans to improve that in short order. Starting on No. 10, he firebombed the back nine for a 6-under 30, scoring an eagle on the par-5 12th and birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th. He hit 12 of 14 fairways, hit 14 greens in regulation and needed just 26 putts.
Every thought those were too many. He thought a 62 slipped away.
"The greens on the last nine I played were getting pretty rough, spiked up, and it was tough to make any putts," he said. "I made a lot of my putts early."
Compton was similarly effective, hitting 11 of 14 fairways and 15 greens in regulation. He used just 26 putts to recover from a 2-over start after three holes.