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Kizzire sets early pace at OHL Classic
November 11, 2017
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PLAYA DEL CARMEN: Patton Kizzire shot a nine-under-par 62 to grab the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s OHL Classic on Thursday.

The 31-year-old American rolled in 10 birdies and had his only blemish with a bogey at the 18th hole to leave him with a two-shot lead over Vaughn Taylor.

Kizzire, who is seeking his first win on the Tour, finished tied for fourth last week in Las Vegas, closing with a final-round 64 that included birdies on four of the last five holes.

Kizzire stormed up the leaderboard Thursday with six straight birdies from Nos. eight to 13 and needed 25 putts in his career-low round. He tied the tournament record held by Fred Funk for the lowest first-round score.

Taylor had five birdies and an eagle in his bogey-free round to grab sole possession of second place. He is one stroke ahead of four-time PGA Tour winner Rickie Fowler and Brandon Harkins.

Fowler, who is competing for the first time since the Presidents Cup, is the highest ranked player in the field at No. 10. He had three birdies on each side in his bogey-free round, while rookie Harkins closed with four birdies over his final six holes.

South Africa’s Retief Goosen, a two-time US Open champion, led a group of six players in a tie for fifth place at five-under 66. Goosen is looking for his first win since 2009.

Among the players bunched with Goosen was rookie Keith Mitchell, who started his round with a flourish with a hole-in-one on his first shot at the par-three 10th hole.

Defending champion Pat Perez opened with a 67 and was in a 10-player tie five shots off the pace. John Huh, the 2012 tournament winner, also carded a 67.

Feng ahead

China’s Feng Shanshan is on course to become the first back-to-back winner of the 2017 season as she battled swirling winds to take a one-shot lead in the Blue Bay LPGA on Friday.

Roared on by her home crowd on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, victory in the final round on Saturday at Jian Lake Blue Bay golf Club could also propel the world number three to the top of the rankings, depending where current number one Park Sung-Hyun finishes.

“Given that today was actually very, very windy, I really held up ground, especially with my approach shots to the greens,” the Chinese, who shot a one-over-par 73 and captured last week’s TOTO Japan Classic title, told LPGA.com.

“Obviously I made a lot of mistakes and I had a lot of recovery shots as well. But overall I’m happy with the past three days’ performance.”

Feng was at seven-under par for the tournament, a one-stroke lead over Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn, who is looking for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Her third-round four-under-par 68 put her alone in second, with South Africa’s overnight leader Ashleigh Buhai another shot back.

Buhai struggled on Friday, shooting a 76, but is still very much in the running.

“It was quite a frustrating day,” she said.

The South Koreans Choi Na-Yeon and number one Park are tied fourth.

Agence France-Presse

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