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Fresh face leads 1st LPGA major

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Amy Yang shot 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Lindsey Wright on Thursday in the opening round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Tour's first major of the year.

Yani Tseng was third at 68, ending the top-ranked player's streak of eight consecutive rounds with the lead. The five-time major champion has won two straight tournaments and three of five this season. Yang and Wright have not won on the tour.

Defending champ Stacy Lewis had four consecutive bogeys en route to 74. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, the 2009 winner, shot 4-over 76, as did Tampa resident Kristy McPherson. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse shot 73.

Yang chipped in from the fringe for birdie on the 13th, highlighting a strong start at Mission Hills for the former teen sensation. Yang has five top-10 finishes in majors over the previous three years after winning on the European tour.

"Everything was working well," Yang said. "I think especially my putting was better than other tournaments.

"I had a couple of shots that went into the trees, and it was hard to play, but I had some good par saves and good birdie putts."

Tseng said she felt tired during practice rounds this week after driving from San Diego to Palm Springs following her victory in the Kia Classic in Carlsbad on Sunday.

Tseng bogeyed the eighth with a feeble chip out of the greenside rough but gathered herself for four birdies in the next six holes.

"I was really disappointed (Thursday)," Tseng said. "I don't hit many good shots, and I don't leave myself lots of birdie chances out there."

PGA: Angel Cabrera and Carl Pettersson took advantage of early tee times to beat the rain and share the early lead in the Houston Open at Humble, Texas. Cabrera and Pettersson shot 7-under 65 in calm morning conditions to set the pace before the first round was suspended because of a thunderstorm in the afternoon. Fifty-one players completed play before the horn sounded. The storm dumped about 11/4 inches of rain, leaving shallow ponds on many fairways, tournament director Steve Timms said. The first round was scheduled to resume this morning. With the Masters next week, Timms hoped to finish the tournament by 5 p.m. Sunday to accommodate not only television but the players heading to Augusta.

Fresh face leads 1st LPGA major 03/29/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 29, 2012 10:17pm]
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