Monday, March 19, 2018

Sandra Gal leads in Michigan; hurting Michelle Wie withdraws

BELMONT, Mich. — Sandra Gal made six straight birdies on her back nine Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic, and Michelle Wie withdrew because of a wrist injury.

Gal, 29, who won her lone tour title in 2011, birdied Nos. 3-8 and finished with par on No. 9 for 6-under 65 at Blythefield Country Club.

Wie was 5 over after nine holes when she pulled out. She had injuries to both wrists in 2007.

"It just started hurting last week and kept getting worse," she said in the parking lot outside the medical trailer. "It got to the point where I really couldn't hold a club (Thursday)."

She said she planned to get an MRI exam and hoped to be able to play next week in the LPGA Championship, the fourth major of the season. Wie won her first major, the U.S. Women's Open, in June.

Inbee Park was a stroke behind Gal, and Katherine Kirk was another stroke back.

Second-ranked Lydia Ko, the 17-year-old coming off a victory in the Marathon Classic, matched Paula Creamer with 69, and top-ranked Stacy Lewis shot 71.

Gal played in the morning wave in the tour's first regular tournament in Michigan since the Oldsmobile Classic ended its nine-year run in East Lansing in 2000.