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Justin Leonard part of 4-way tie at PGA event in Mexico

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 12:  Matt Kuchar of the United States hits his first shot on the 7th hole during the first round of the OHL Classic at the Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club on November 12, 2015 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images) 573702863

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 12: Matt Kuchar of the United States hits his first shot on the 7th hole during the first round of the OHL Classic at the Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club on November 12, 2015 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images) 573702863

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — Justin Leonard got off to a quick start in what he expects to be his shortest season, opening with 6-under 65 Thursday in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba to share the lead with Aaron Baddeley, Shawn Stefani and Derek Fathauer.

Leonard, who moved from Dallas to Colorado during the summer, said he plans to play only 12 events this season to spend more time with his wife and four children. The former British Open champion is using his one-time exemption for being top 50 on the PGA Tour's career money list.

The 43-year-old played bogey-free at El Camaleon before the wind and rain arrived and stopped play for 1 hour, 14 minutes. The first round was suspended because of darkness, and 21 players did not finish.

Stefani was runnerup last year to Charley Hoffman.

Baddeley, a three-time winner, lost his card last season and failed to get it back through the Web.com Tour Finals. He's playing as a past champion and got into the Mexico event through a top-10 finish last week. He tied for fourth in the rain-plagued Sanderson Farms Championship.

D.J. Trahan, another past champion, also got into Mayakoba through a top 10 in Mississippi. He was in a large group at 66 that included Charles Howell and Patton Kizzire, who won the Web.com Tour money title last season.

Leonard is approaching two years since his last top 10 on the PGA Tour. He was born and raised in Dallas, so it was a big move to take the family to Aspen. But it's part of a bigger plan to make the transition to full-time golf to being with his four children, ages 5 through 12.

"I've just been out here 21 or 22 years and my kids are growing up," he said. "And I get to do a lot of things, but I miss a lot of things, too. We just moved to Colorado in August, and I want to just play the tournaments that I'm excited to go play and see what I can do."

Matt Kuchar, at No. 16 in the world the highest-ranked player at Mayakoba, opened with 72. He was in the same group as Mississippi winner Peter Malnati, who shot 68, and HSBC Champions winner Russell Knox, who shot 70.

Former PGA champions Keegan Bradley, whose world ranking has plunged to No. 65, was in the group at 67 that included Erik Compton, Patrick Rodgers and Graeme McDowell, who overcame double bogey on his opening hole by making five straight birdies.

LPGA: Inbee Park made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico. Angela Stanford, Suzann Pettersen and Minjee Lee were tied for second. Top-ranked Lydia Ko is skipping the tournament to rest for her title defense next week in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples.

PGA EUROPE: Spain's Sergio Garcia shot 8-under 64 for a one-stroke lead over France's Victor Dubuisson and South Korea's An Byeong-hun in the rain-soaked BMW Masters in Shanghai. The event is the third of four in the tour's Finals Series. The DP World Tour Championship is next week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Justin Leonard part of 4-way tie at PGA event in Mexico 11/12/15 [Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2015 11:28pm]
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