Madison, MS – Jackson, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Sebastian Cappelen fired a 7-under 65 on Thursday and grabbed a 2-shot lead with the first round of the Sanderson Farms Championship suspended due to darkness.
Cappelen, who is playing on a sponsor exemption, is playing in his first PGA Tour event. He won his first-ever start on the Web.com Tour earlier in 2014
"I have to make it look like they made the right decision. That's important to me, proving that I can play with these guys," stated Cappelen in reference to his sponsor exemption.
Robert Streb, who won The McGladrey Classic two weeks ago, opened with a 5- under 67 at the Country Club of Jackson. He was joined in second place by Scott Pinckney and Nick Taylor.
Three former major champions -- David Toms, David Duval and Ben Curtis -- are among those tied for fifth at minus-4. They stand alongside Charlie Wi, Alex Prugh, John Rollins, William McGirt, Jason Bohn and Andres Gonzales.
Woody Austin, who won this title the last time the event was played in 2013, carded a 2-under 70 and was part of a large group tied for 27th place.
Play was suspended for the day due to darkness at 5:57 p.m. ET. The first round will resume at 8:40 a.m. ET on Friday, while the second round starts as scheduled at 7:45 a.m.
Cappelen played the back nine first on Thursday and he bogeyed his opening hole, the 10th. He quickly erased that mistake with a 17-foot birdie effort on No. 11.
Two holes later, Cappelen drained a 9-footer for birdie at the par-3 13th to move into red figures. He drove the green at the short par-4 15th and 2-putted for another birdie.
Cappelen parred his next three holes before catching fire around the turn. He dropped his approach at the first within five feet and he made that putt for birdie.
The Dane birdied the second and third, both from inside three feet, to move to minus-5. Cappelen converted another short birdie try at the par-5 fifth. He poured in a 13-footer for birdie at seven, then parred the last two holes to end at minus-7.
"I couldn't be happier, to be honest. Obviously, I came here just trying to get a new experience and get a feel of how it feels like to play on the real tour, and I had a great time out there today. Hit a lot of good shots," said Cappelen. "That's usually how it is for me when I have a good round. I usually start with a bogey on the first hole."
Streb also played the back nine first and he poured in four birdies in a 6- hole span from the 12th. He tripped to a bogey at the 18th and made the turn at minus-3. Streb dropped in back-to-back birdie tries at three and four before closing his round with five pars in a row.
Pinckney birdied the 12th, then posted three consecutive birdies from the 14th. That run ended when he bogeyed No. 17. He got that shot back with a birdie on the first. After a birdie on the fifth, Pinckney traded a bogey for a birdie from the eighth to end at minus-5.
Taylor parred the first and second before making birdie at three and four. He ran off five pars in a row from the fifth. That streak ended when he birdied the par-5 11th. Taylor again converted back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 to gain a share of second place. He parred the last three holes for his 67.
NOTES: When Cappelen won his professional debut at the Web.com Tour's Air Capital Classic in June, he became the first Monday qualifier to win on that Tour since Ted Potter, Jr. in May 2011 ... Cappelen has no PGA Tour status as he finished 26th on the Web.com Tour's regular season money list and 53rd on the final series money list ... Cappelen is hoping to become the eighth player to make this event his first PGA Tour victory ... Roger Sloan had a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth.