Rod Pampling knows better than to get excited about leading after one round, although he wasn't about to trade his 8-under-par 64 in the Ford Championship at Doral.

Pampling made it look easy yesterday on the course known as the Blue Monster with eight birdies, only one of them longer than 12 feet, to take a one-stroke lead over Bob Tway on a balmy, breezy day in Miami.

"I did everything quite nicely," Pampling said. "Everything was a tap-in on the par 5s, we made a couple of nice ones and ended up being 8 [under]."

It was the first time Pampling has led after one round of a PGA Tour-sanctioned event since his par 71 in the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie, the toughest links in golf.

What happened next is now part of golf trivia.

Pampling is the only player in the 142-year history of the British Open to lead after the first round and then miss the cut. He had an 86 in the second round.

"Obviously, it wasn't great," Pampling said. "It really didn't bother me because I knew I didn't play bad, the conditions were just unbelievably tough. You gradually progress in the game and learn to deal with different things.

"It's just nice to have one under my belt, to actually lead a major."

Tway, a former PGA champion, looked like he might be tied for the lead or even better after reaching 8 under through 14 holes. He tried to hit a hard 7-iron on the 15th, but the ball got caught up in the wind and buried in a bunker.

"I was scrambling to make bogey," Tway said after his 65. "We're always thinking it could be better. I think you have to be realistic."

Scott Hoch and British Open runner-up Thomas Levet were at 66, and Carlos Franco of Paraguay finally showed some life and was in the group at 67.

Jack Nicklaus, 63, doesn't need to worry about taking someone's spot in the field. He birdied the last two holes for a 1-over 73, which left him nine strokes out of the lead but better off than several players half his age.

Nicklaus, still trying to decide whether to play in his 44th Masters, hit an iron into 30 feet on the 528-yard eighth hole for a two-putt birdie, then holed a 15-foot putt on his final hole, the par-3 ninth.

"I have a nonexistent short game and it showed," Nicklaus said, rarely satisfied. "I hit the ball decently, but I had some sloppy swings and that sort of killed the round."

* DUBAI: Ernie Els shot a 6-under 66 and was one stroke behind Scotland's Alistair Forsyth after the first round of the $1.9 million Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates.

Els, the defending champion and winner of four of five events he has played in this season, is the top-ranked player in the tournament.

Doral leader Rod Pampling once led the British Open after the first round. He's never won PGA Tour event.