Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sports

Rough start for Tseng in title defense

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Yani Tseng isn't accustomed to this: 4-over par in an LPGA Tour major.

Luckily for the Taiwanese star, winner of five majors, there are three rounds to play on a course she dominated a year ago.

Tseng, 23, is chasing leaders Beatriz Recari, Ryann O'Toole, and Giulia Sergas, who each shot 3-under 69 Thursday to tie after the opening round of the LPGA Championship.

Despite matching her worst score of the year at 76, Tseng, the top women's player in the world, was only seven shots off the lead after a round that included six bogeys and only two birdies.

"I just couldn't hit a shot, couldn't hit on the green, couldn't hit on the fairway," Tseng said. "It was really tough for me out there. I was very disappointed. I love the golf course, and I know I can have a low score here."

A year ago she shot 19 under and won by 10 shots.

The second major of the season was shaping up as a tight affair as only 16 players broke par.

Jeong Jang reached 5 under but bogeyed four of her final five holes to finish in a tie at 70 with Mika Miyazato, Cristie Kerr, Se Ri Pak, Na Yeon Choi, Ai Miyazato and Paula Creamer. Lewis, who has won two of her past three starts, had 72.

Cheyenne Woods, niece of Tiger Woods and playing on a sponsor's exemption, shot 3-over 75 in her first event as a pro. She qualified last week for the U.S. Women's Open and was beaming despite an erratic round.

"I've been waiting, waiting for this moment. I couldn't wait to get out here," said Woods, who had three birdies, four bogeys and double bogey. "I was a little nervous starting off, but it felt good to be out there and finally playing. "

Tampa resident Kristy McPherson was at 3-over 75, Seminole's Brittany Lincicome at 76, and Clearwater's Jennifer Gleason at 84.

PGA: Jeff Maggert and John Merrick shot 4-under 66 to share the lead at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, leaving U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy two strokes back.

Maggert took advantage of teeing off in the first group with calm conditions for the first seven holes and finished with four birdies, eagle and two bogeys. Merrick matched his best round of the year with six birdies and two bogeys.

In other tour news, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson will play in the same group for the opening two rounds of next week's U.S. Open in San Francisco. Also in one group are Luke Donald, McIlroy and Lee Westwood.

Champions: Bill Glasson swiftly polished off his round at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala., finishing before lunchtime and leaving the rest of the Regions Tradition field chasing. Dan Forsman didn't catch up until about four hours later when he completed a run of four straight birdies at No. 14. Forsman and Glasson shared the first-round lead at 6-under 66. Fred Funk was a stroke back.

European: Lee Westwood shot 8-under 64 to lead by three at the Nordea Masters in Bro, Sweden.

No changes, commissioner says: The PGA Tour will not change its policy on mobile devices, continue to allow fans to bring them to events.

"We're committed to making it work," commissioner Tim Finchem told Bloomberg News Service. "If we get to a point where we don't have an acceptable competitive environment, we'll do whatever we need to do, but I don't see that happening."

Phil Mickelson was angered by the lack of enforcement of the policy in the first round of last week's Memorial Tournament and texted Finchem from the sixth fairway. Mickelson withdrew after shooting 7-over 79.

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