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Ha-Neul Kim leads US Women’s Open

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POSTED June 27, 2013 9:55 p.m.

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — South Korea’s Ha-Neul Kim upstaged friend Inbee Park to take the first-round lead at her first U.S. Women’s Open.

Kim shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Thursday at Sebonack to lead Park by a stroke. The top-ranked Park is trying to make history by winning the first three majors of the year.

Currently a member of the KLPGA Tour, Kim is a seven-time winner in South Korea. She kept giving herself short birdie putts and making them.

Kim birdied her second-to-last hole with daylight waning to claim the lead after Park held it for most of the day with her 67 in the morning session.

No player has won the first three majors in a season with at least four majors. The 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion, Park has already won five times this year, including her last two tournaments.

American Lizette Salas, Swedes Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist and South Korea’s I.K. Kim shot 68.

Second-ranked Stacy Lewis opened with a 71, and 16-year-old amateur star Lydia Ko shot 72. Michelle Wie had a quadruple-bogey 8 on No. 10 in a round of 80.



AT&T NATIONAL

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Roberto Castro took the first-round lead in the AT&T National at Congressional, shooting a 5-under 66 on the difficult course that has hosted three U.S. Opens.

Winless on the PGA Tour, Castro made three straight birdies late in his round with a 20-foot putt, a perfect 3-wood into a par 5 and a chip-in.

Only a dozen players shot in the 60s and the average score was just over 73, despite cloud cover for most of the day leading to soft conditions and only a light wind.

Billy Horschel, who tied for fourth in the U.S. Open two weeks ago at Merion, began his day with a 50-foot birdie putt, added a pair of birdies over the next three holes and then hung on for a 68. That was the best score among the early starters. Bud Cauley and Graham DeLaet each had a 68 in the afternoon.

Defending champion Tiger Woods wasn’t around, unable to play because of a sore left elbow that will keep him out of competition until the British Open next month.



SENIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

PITTSBURGH (AP) — John Huston shot a 5-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Senior Players Championship, the third of the Champions Tour’s five majors.

Huston started on No. 10 and was even par halfway through his round before making a big move on the front nine at soggy Fox Chapel. Huston shot 5-under 30 coming in, including four birdies and an eagle on the short par-4 seventh. The 52-year-old Huston missed three months this season because of lower back problems.

Fred Couples, Duffy Waldorf, Fred Funk and Russ Cochran were a stroke back. Colin Montgomerie had a 69 in his Champions Tour debut. The start of play was delayed nearly five hours because of heavy rain.

IRISH OPEN

MAYNOOTH, Ireland (AP) — Saying he’s “feeling a bit lost” in a difficult year, Rory McIlroy shot a 2-over 74 in the Irish Open to fall eight strokes behind first-round leader Oscar Floren.

The second-ranked McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, had four bogeys and two birdies in wet and overcast conditions at Carton House. Floren, from Sweden, had a 6-under 66.

American Peter Uihlein was a stroke back along with Dutchman Joost Luiten, France’s Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey and Ireland’s Shane Lowry.

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