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Blixt leads Greenbrier Classic

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POSTED July 4, 2014 12:57 a.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — Jonas Blixt’s memory of raising the trophy last year carried over to a strong start at the Greenbrier Classic.

The defending champion shot a 6-under 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over former Stanford star Patrick Rodgers and seven others at Old White TPC.

Blixt tied for second in the Masters but missed the cut in three of his last four starts. Returning to The Greenbrier resort brought him back to a comfort zone.

Starting on the 10th hole in the morning with little wind, Blixt had six birdies on his front nine and made the turn at 5 under. Six of the Swede’s eight birdies came on putts of 10 feet or less. He also chipped in from the rough for birdie on No. 16.

“The golf course is in perfect shape, like last year,” Blixt said. “You come back with a bunch of confidence knowing that you won here before.

“If I can get my putter to work the way it did today, I felt like I hit the ball on line every time, and it could be a really good week.”

Rodgers is looking to make his third straight cut since turning pro. He holed a 118-yard wedge for eagle on the par-4 first hole — his 10th hole of the day.

Stadler shines in
French Open debut

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — In his French Open debut, Kevin Stadler shot a bogey-free 7-under 64 to lead by a stroke after the first round on Thursday.

The American golfer, who won the Phoenix Open in February and shared eighth place at the Masters in April, made seven birdies on a punishing golf course that will host the Ryder Cup in 2018.

“Not making bogey was something I didn’t think possible in my practice rounds,” Stadler said. “It’s one of my favorite courses. It’s spectacular.”

Marcel Siem of Germany was in second place, one stroke clear of Stephen Gallacher of Scotland. Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Felipe Aguilar of Chile were tied for fourth at 4 under.

Rodriguez has ace,
leads Nova Scotia Open

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — Mexico’s Jose de Jesus Rodriguez had a hole-in-one and another eagle Thursday in the Web.com Tour’s Nova Scotia Open en route to an 8-under 63 and a two-stroke lead.

Rodriguez holed a 9-iron from 166 yards on No. 5, and made a 30-yard chip for eagle on the par-5 17th.

“I hit it very good and I had a lot of opportunities,” Rodriguez said. “In the last tournament I hit it very good, but I didn’t make the putts. Today, I made the putts.”

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