Friday, December 26, 2014

Thompson and Lee share LPGA lead

Lexi Thompson watches her shot drop for a birdie on 18. She fired a first-round 66 to tie for the LPGA lead. AP
Lexi Thompson watches her shot drop for a birdie on 18. She fired a first-round 66 to tie for the LPGA lead. AP
Lexi Thompson watches her shot drop for a birdie on 18. She fired a first-round 66 to tie for the LPGA lead. AP Gallery: Thompson and Lee share LPGA lead
PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Lexi Thompson and South Korea's Meena Lee shot 6-under-66s on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Championship, the fourth major championship of the season.

Thompson, the Kraft Nabisco winner in April for her first major title, and Lee each made eight birdies and a pair of bogeys to finish a stroke ahead of ahead of Brittany Lincicome, Lisa McCloskey of Colombia, and Jennifer Kirby of Canada. Shanshan Feng of China, the tournament winner two years ago, was tied for sixth at 68 with 2010 champion Cristie Kerr.

Catriona Matthew of Scotland, runner-up a year ago to South Korea's Inbee Park, was tied at 69 with seven other players. Park was at even-par 72, one shot better than Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb.

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, a three-time winner this year, started on the back nine and birdied three of the first five holes, then faltered with three straight bogeys before the turn. She finished at 71.

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PGA Tour

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Camilo Villegas shot a 7-under 63 to take a 1-stroke lead after the first round at the Wyndham Championship.

North Carolina natives Webb Simpson and William McGirt shot 64, and Scott Langley, Heath Slocum, Paul Casey, Andrew Loupe and Martin Laird were another stroke back in the final event before the PGA Tour's playoffs.

Villegas hasn't won since 2010 and has only two top-10 finishes in the last three years.

After pulling out of the Canadian Open after one round last month, he spent the last week back in his native Colombia for "a little recharge" - leaving his clubs behind in Florida.

It helped him make a late charge up the Sedgefield Country Club leaderboard.

Simpson, the 2011 winner, hopes to make an impression on U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson. His three captain's picks are due next month. Simpson finished 15th on the Ryder Cup points list.

USGA

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - South Korea's Gunn Yang advanced to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals, birdieing the final three holes to beat top-ranked Ollie Schniederjans, 1 up, at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Yang, a San Diego State sophomore making his first appearance in the tournament, was down a hole against Schniederjans, a senior at Georgia Tech, after 15 holes. Yang won the par-16th with a 6-foot putt, took the par-3 17th with another 6-footer and finished off the hometown favorite with a tap-in on the par-5 18th.

In the morning, Yang beat England's Paul Howard 4 and 3 in the round of 32.

Associated Press
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