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Bryant, Frost share lead in soggy Greater Gwinnett

  • Article by: CHARLES ODUM
  • Associated Press
  • April 19, 2013 - 8:37 PM

DULUTH, Ga. - Bart Bryant isn't worried about adjusting to his new life as a rookie on the Champions Tour.

Bryant's bigger emphasis is his return to golf after two surgeries on his left wrist kept him out of the game for three years.

Playing with a wrap on the wrist, Bryant shot a 4-under 68 on Friday to take a share of the first-round lead in the rain-delayed Greater Gwinnett Championship.

The start of play was delayed four hours by rain. David Frost also was 4 under through 13 holes when the round was suspended because of darkness.

Frost was one of 57 players still on the TPC Sugarloaf course. The first round will be completed Saturday morning, followed by the second round.

The 50-year-old Bryant is playing in only his fourth tournament in his rookie season on the senior circuit.

"I'm enjoying it," Bryant said. "I don't feel like there's a lot of adjustment. The adjustment for me is coming back to golf after being out for almost three years with the wrist injury."

Bryant said he had his first wrist fusion surgery in 2010.

"I rehabbed for a year and the doctor said the fusion did not work correctly, so I did it again in 2011," he said.

"I've got three screws in there and they took a little bone out of the upper arm. ... Honestly it was done for quality of life, and if I could play it was a bonus."

A win would be an even bigger bonus.

Bryant said he uses three different kinds of tape to wrap the wrist for added support. He had five birdies and one bogey and rushed to complete the round after the horn sounded to halt play.

"I think I might have been the last guy to hit one before the horn went off," Bryant said, adding it will be "so nice" to have a little extra rest early Saturday morning when the 57 players must complete their rounds. Bryant was one of 24 to finish Friday.

Bryant won three events on the PGA Tour, including the 2005 Tour Championship at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club.

Frost, the Toshiba Classic winner last month in California, has finished in the top 10 in each of his five events this season. The South African used a birdie at No. 4, his 13th and final hole of the day, to move to 4 under.

Duffy Waldorf and Neal Lancaster shot 69, and John Cook, Michael Allen, Mark O'Meara and Fred Funk also were 3 under.

Among the players 2 under and still on the course were Tom Watson and Mark Calcavecchia.

Bernhard Langer, the tour points leader, was even par through 13 holes.

NOTES: The tournament is the first Champions Tour event in the Atlanta area since 2000. ... John Huston withdrew with a back injury shortly before his scheduled tee time. Chip Beck took Huston's spot and was 1 over through 12 holes. ... Due to the rain delay, fans can use tickets for the Friday round Saturday or Sunday. ... TPC Sugarloaf was the site of the PGA Tour's BellSouth Classic from 1997-2008.

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