McIlroy Opens With 67 at Wells Fargo Championship
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – For all the talk about the greens, Rory McIlroy’s most important club was his driver Thursday in the Wells Fargo Championship.
McIlroy kept the ball in play and set up plenty of birdie chances at Quail Hollow. He ran off six birdies in a seven-hole stretch around the turn for a 5-under 67 that left him in a large group atop the leaderboard as the first round was winding down.
Two of the putting surfaces had to be entirely replaced with sod last week and the others are ragged. McIlroy’s final birdie from 8 feet on the 18th hole bounced more than it rolled.
Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Derek Ernst, Daniel Summerhays and Robert Garrigus also were at 67. The group one shot behind included Phil Mickelson and Lucas Glover.
12-year-old makes history at China Open, shoots 79
TIANJIN, China (AP) – While 12-year-old Ye Wocheng was making history Thursday at the China Open, Robert-Jan Derksen was making birdies.
Ye became the youngest player to compete on the European Tour, shooting a 7-over 79 in the first round with a 40-yard chip-in for bogey on his 15th hole.
Derksen shot a 66 to take a two-stroke lead. The 39-year-old Dutchman had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the sixth. He added two more on the final three holes at the Binhai Golf Club course.
At 12 years, 242 days, Ye broke the previous record held by Guan Tianlang, who was 13 years, 177 days when he played at last year’s China Open. Guan made history last month when he became the youngest to compete in the Masters at 14.
17-year-old Jutanugarn leads LPGA at Kingsmill
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) – Ariya Jutanugarn was in attack mode all day at the Kingsmill Championship – and it paid off.
The 17-year-old Thai player birdied six of the first seven holes Thursday and was 8 under after 14 holes thanks to a radar-like short iron game that left her with short putt after short putt.
She only missed a few, all on the par-3 17th when she pulled her tee shot to the left, chunked her downhill approach short of the green, putted from the fringe well past the hole and missed the comebacker.
The double bogey took her out of contention for tying the course record of 62, but she rebounded nicely with a birdie at the finishing hole, capping a round with nine birdies and the double bogey.
Langer all set for Insperity Championship
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) – Bernhard Langer has assured Hale Irwin that his Champions Tour record of 45 victories is safe.
Langer has won twice this season and he’s the tour points leader going into the first round of the Insperity Championship at The Woodlands Country Club’s TPC course Friday.
“I told him (Irwin) yesterday, we chatted a little bit,” Langer said. “He said ‘well done and take it easy now.’ I told him ‘your record will never be broken.'”