|Lydia Ko discusses a putt with her caddie during the first round of the Canadian Women’s Open on Thursday. (AP-Yonhap News)|
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) ― Lydia Ko is back on top of the Canadian Women’s Open leaderboard.
The 16-year-old Ko, the winner last year at Vancouver Golf Club at an LPGA Tour-record age of 15 years, 4 months, shot a 5-under 65 on Thursday in perfect conditions at Royal Mayfair for a share of the first-round lead with Angela Stanford and Christel Boeljon.
Ko, the South Korean-born New Zealander, had six birdies and a bogey. She birdied the opening hole, though she figured that might be a bad omen.
“When I start off with a birdie I haven’t really played that well, so yeah, I was kind of nervous that I did make a birdie on the first,” she said.
She felt some pressure entering the tournament.
“Because you’re the defending champion, people are going to expect more,” she said. “I called my dad a couple of days ago and he just said, ‘Relax. You can’t control everything. Just play the game that you want to play.’”
Stanford rebounded after going 0-4 last week in the United States’ Solheim Cup loss in Colorado. The Texan birdied five of the first 12 holes in her bogey-free round.
Boeljon had a hole-in-one on the 16th hole. The Dutchwoman also had a bogey-free round, playing Nos. 15-17 in 4 under.
U.S. Solheim Cup teammates Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr shot 66. Top-ranked Park In-bee, a six-time winner this year, was in a group at 67.
Charley Hull, the 17-year-old English player coming off a strong performance last week in Europe’s victory, had a 69 playing alongside Ko.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis opened with a 74. The Women’s British Open winner in her last stroke-play event, Lewis bogeyed five of her first seven holes.
“I played terrible all day,” said Lewis, coming off the deflating U.S. loss in the Solheim Cup. “I didn’t make any putts. I didn’t hit the ball very good and the start just didn’t help. I was tired out there. Mentally, I wasn’t in it. Just coming off the last week is still tough.”
She was asked if she had anything to work on before the second round.
“No, honestly I need to get away from it right now,” Lewis said. “Probably the best thing I could do is walk away.”
|Korea’s Choi Kyung-ju tees off on the fourth hole at The Barclays golf tournament on Thursday. (AP-Yonhap News)|
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (AP) ― It took Kevin Stadler nearly 11 hours to open with a 7-under 64 at Liberty National. And he’s not even guaranteed to be the first-round leader at The Barclays.
Two rain delays that lasted a total of six hours put a damper on the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Stadler teed off just after breakfast and finished his round right before dinner. Only half the field finished. Stadler had a one-shot lead over Henrik Stenson, Ryan Palmer and Camilo Villegas.
Tiger Woods ran off three straight birdies before the second delay. He only made one after returned, though he still had a 4-under 67.
It was a good start for Stadler, who is No. 87 in the FedEx Cup standings. Only the top 100 advance to the second event.Johnnie Walker Championship
GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AP) ― Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina took full advantage of ideal scoring conditions to shoot 7-under 65s Thursday and share a one-shot lead after the first round of the Johnnie Walker Championship.
The 27-year-old Wiesberger capped his round with three closing birdies as he tries to make amends for losing out in a five-man playoff two years ago on the PGA Centenary course set to host next year’s Ryder Cup.
The 352nd-ranked Gonzalez is a four-time Tour winner, but has gone four years without a victory.
Six players, including the English trio of Oliver Fisher, Ross Fisher and Mark Foster, were a shot behind.