Barnes grabs New Orleans lead, Guan at even par

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Ricky Barnes had an eagle and seven birdies in an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday to seize a one-shot lead in the first round of the US PGA Tour's Zurich Classic in New Orleans.

Barnes matched a course record at TPC Louisiana, where the water-logged course saw players allowed to lift clean and place their balls in the fairway.

The American golfer, who has missed the cut in seven of his last nine starts, had a one-shot lead over former US Open champion Lucas Glover and Boo Weekley.

He was a further stroke ahead of DA Points and Morgan Hoffmann on 6-under 66, with South African Ernie Els heading a group of 10 players on 67 that also included Australian Matt Jones. Another 15 players were tied on 68, a group that included England's Justin Rose and Brian Davis and South African Trevor Immelman.

Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese amateur playing on a sponsor exemption, opened with an even-par 72, highlighted by a 5-wood that he hit to a foot on the par-3 17th. "I played pretty good golf," Guan said. "Not the best but I made some ups and downs and a couple of birdies."

He tied for 58th in the Masters after becoming the youngest player to make the cut at Augusta National, and said on Thursday that he will play in a US Open qualifier in two weeks in Dallas.

In Seoul, South Korea, Wade Ormsby of Australia birdied two of his closing three holes to share the clubhouse lead with Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand in the second round of the rain-affected Ballantine's Championship yesterday.

Ormsby carded a 5-under 67 to be in the clubhouse tied on 7-under with Arnond, who signed for a 69.

Three players - England's James Morrison (66), Swede Alexander Noren (67) and South African Jbe Kruger (67) - shared third in the clubhouse at 6 under.

After the first day was delayed by fog and rain, play stopped yesterday for more than an hour because of a tropical storm, leaving more than half the field to complete the second round early today.

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