PORTLAND, Ore. — I.K. Kim birdied the first four holes on the back nine Thursday and finished with a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Portland Classic.
The South Korean player birdied seven of the first 13 holes and closed her afternoon round with five straight pars. She won the last of her three LPGA Tour titles in 2010.
Amelia Lewis and Jennifer Song were a shot back in ideal conditions at Columbia Edgewater.
Anna Nordqvist, a two-time winner this year, was another stroke back at 67 along with Mina Harigae, Julieta Granada, Laura Diaz, Alison Walshe, Emma Jandel and Paula Reto.
Molinari, Wiesberger share lead at Italian Open
TURIN, Italy — Home favorite Francesco Molinari and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger both shot 66 to share the first round lead at the Italian Open on Thursday, while Stephen Gallacher’s bid to earn a late spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team ran into trouble.
Molinari – who was born in Turin – and Wiesberger managed six birdies each in their bogey-free rounds to finish six under par. They lead a group of five players, including early leader John Hahn of the United States, by one stroke.
Gallacher, who needs a top-two finish to dislodge former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell from Europe’s team, opened with a par-72. The Scot is the only player still capable of moving into the automatic Ryder Cup places in the final qualifying event.
Ryan Blaum leads Web.com Tour Finals opener
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Ryan Blaum shot an 8-under 64 on Thursday to take the lead in the Hotel Fitness Championship, the first of four events in the Web.com Tour Finals.
Blaum had a bogey-free round at Sycamore Hills, the Jack Nicklaus-designed course that was drenched by 11 inches of rain late last week.
“I think it was playing excellent,” said Blaum, the 30-year-old former Duke player finished 31st on the Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list. “Overall, I think the course is in great shape.”
The top 25 players on the Web.com Tour money list earned PGA Tour cards last week. They are competing against each other for PGA Tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals and the final leader getting a spot in The Players Championship.
The rest of the players -- Nos. 26-75 on Web.com money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings -- are fighting for another 25 cards based on earnings in the series.
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